SEATTLE - U.S. wood pellet exports climbed dramatically in the first half of 2012, outstripping Canada to make the United States the largest wood pellet exporter in the world, says the North American Wood Fiber Review.

The expansion of wood pellet capacity in the U.S. South means U.S., export volumes will almost quadruple from 1.5 million tons in 2012 to 5.7 million tons in 2015, according to the North American Wood Fiber Review.

Pellet exports from the two primary pellet-producing regions on the North American continent, the U.S. South and British Columbia, have continued to grow, reaching a new record high of 760,000 tons in the second quarter.

Canadian exports to Europe rose 14 percent between the first and second quarter. In the U.S. South, pellet export volumes rose 13 percent in the second quarter despite slowdowns due to fires at a U.S. port and at a pellet consumer in the U.K. 

Three companies are constructing pellet plants the State of Georgia in the third quarter, and six other wood pellet export plants are already under construction and scheduled to begin operating in regions from Virginia to Texas, adding an additional 4.2 million tons of wood pelletsheaded to Europe in 2015.

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