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Daily News / Global Trends / Market Analysis / Wood pellets / Wood Products / Europe / Global
March 14, 2019

Italy: Imports of wood pellets up 27% in 2018

Italy: Imports of wood pellets up 27% in 2018

After a 9% increase in 2017, wood pellets imported by Italy showed a much more consistent trend growth in 2018. An increase of 27% from Jan.-Dec. 2018 proves that Italy’s demand for pellets is still high as manifested in the last 7-8 years. 

In quantity, the imports jumped to over 2 million tonnes in Jan.-Dec. 2018 (Jan.-Dec. 2017: 1.6 million tons). At the same time, in value, the increase was as well of 27% (EUR 368 million in Jan.-Dec. 2018).

Austria remains the main source of imports: +56%; from 425 thousand tons in Jan.-Dec. 2017, to 663 thousand tons in Jan.-Dec. 2018. Imports from Germany grew 66% (up to 174 thousand tons) and those from Slovenia by 5%.

Read our latest information on the wood pellets market:

More than two thirds of the total quantity of wood pellets imported by Italy comes from the EU countries (1.4 million tons and a 26% increase in Jan.-Dec. 2018).

According to the Italian heating market growth expectations and the national Renewable Energy Action Plan, Italy’s use of wood pellets is forecast to reach 5 million metric tons (MMT) in 2020.

However, only 15 percent of domestic demand is met by domestic production, with the remaining 85 percent being covered by imports. Lombardia is the main production area, accounting for 45 percent of total supply, followed by Veneto (18 percent), Friuli Venezia Giulia (16 percent), and Trentino Alto Adige (8 percent).

In Italy, wood pellets are mainly used in small-scale private residential and industrial boilers for heating. According to the Italian Association of Wood Energy Chain (AIEL), bagged pellet (15 kilograms) represents almost the total consumption. Bulk pellet transported with silo trucks is no more than 20,000 metric tons (MT).

Wood pellets are mainly distributed through retail shops (i.e. hardware stores) and fossil fuel retailers.

Wood pellets imported by Italy from... (in tons )

Origin 2017 2018 Change in %
EUROPEAN Union
1,169,632 1,469,719 26 %
Austria
425,327 663,336 56 %
Germany
105,029 174,522 66 %
Slovenia
94,606 99,630 5 %
Czech Republic
73,077 90,644 24 %
Poland
73,191 84,794 16 %
Others
398,402 356,793 -10 %
OTHER European Countries
297,874 363,914 22 %
Croatia
139,683 126,674 -9 %
Russia
60,844 94,357 55 %
Ukraine
42,873 62,353 45 %
Bosnia - Herzegovina
27,830 27,748 0 %
Albania
13,599 22,896 68 %
Others
13,046 29,886 129 %
NORTH Africa
24,551 37,498 53 %
Egypt
17,010 25,147 48 %
Tunisia
7,441 12,351 66 %
Morocco
100 - -100 %
OTHER African Countries
429 78 -82 %
Ghana
429 78 -82 %
NORTH America
88,018 131,174 49 %
USA
40,147 85,732 114 %
Canada
47,871 45,442 -5 %
SOUTH America
51,473 72,460 41 %
Brazil
43,743 67,972 55 %
Argentina
2,735 2,980 9 %
Chile
4,616 1,401 -70 %
Uruguay
379 108 -72 %
NEAR and MIDDLE East
177 - -100 %
United Arab Emirates
- - %
Iran
20 - -100 %
Israel
157 - -100 %
OTHER Asian countries
76 292 284 %
China
43 189 340 %
Indonesia
33 89 170 %
Vietnam
- 15 %
OCEANIA and Polar region
- 24 %
Tuvalu
- 24 %
TOTAL 1,632,230 2,075,159 27 %

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