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Pellet Price Insanity

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by richg, Nov 24, 2005.

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  1. richg

    richg Minister of Fire

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    There are some wild prices on Ebay...two tons of Dry Creek Pellets, for which someone has bid $810.00! $405.00 per ton, holy mackeral! I have noticed that the local Lowes and Home Depots do not have pellets on display any more. Is there a shortage again?

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  2. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    If this is true, I think I'm going to be sick. People spending $3500 for a pellet stove installed and then the fuel price is higher than anything else?

    Well, if nothing else it proves that Americans will go far to stick it to the big corporations. Now if someone can just harnass that energy and use it for government and policy change, we'll be able to become the greenest country in the world!

    After all, this flies in the face of normal consumer behavior - paying more and working harder. It's a revolution.
  3. bruce

    bruce Member

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    ebay brings out the fools, many pay way over market price for anything just to beat someone, that is why i stoped going to local toool/estate auctions, to much greed, let the fools pay it!!
    pellets here in ne pa are about 160$-175$
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Buying anything under peak demand is going to hurt. It's always cheaper and easier to buy wood or pellets in late or off season. We paid $180/ton as well for pellets. This has been the going price locally for the past 4 years. Wood is a better deal in pure btus per dollar, but I am willing to pay more to burn cleaner. We run a mix of both. Wood in the evenings and pellets the rest of the time.
  5. NWfuel

    NWfuel Minister of Fire

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    Out here on the west coast pellets are also 180.00 per ton. We are having shortages though due the demand on the East coast. I hear that pellet stove sales were up 50% this year. The pellet manufacturers can only handle 7% increase
  6. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    :snake: Laughing all the way to the bank boys. All I did was drive 8 miles to neighboring Quebec and got a pickup box, 1 metric ton of feed corn for $97. Not bad since all I have to do is pour it down a 1/4" mesh screen chute with a snow shove and pour it in the corn stove. Lots more heat too, its very noticable. You know you guys with the pellet stoves should be burning a mix of corn and pellets. Its pretty well known that any pellet stove will burn some percentage of corn but most guys burn 50% easily and some even manage 100%. You have to start at 30 and work your way up to what your stove likes and it will usually not like it on low settings but in the throes of winter it will burn fine, heat better and smell nice too.
    You have to watch where you buy it though. They have gone price crazy here locally as well. One farmer wanted $180 for a ton of bagged cleaned stuff. Lowes ran out a couple weeks ago and just got some more in for $4.80 / bag. The local Sams and Walmart ran out about a month ago and didn't get restocked.
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I'm going to try some corn this year. My problem is that it isn't sold locally and I have no safe place to store a lot of it. Our garage is old and a rat hole. Fortunately wood pellets don't interest them, so they've been safe. But these buggers even chew up plastic bottles. Any food source would be a gold mine for them. If the corn experiment is successful, then I may have to think about making a rodent proof bin for them.
  8. heatxchanger

    heatxchanger New Member

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    Hello all,

    Does anybody know what the industry trade magazine is for the home wood heating industry? Its called "Hearth & Home"

    In this month's issue the feature article is "A Passion for Pellets". The article is about a guy named Jed Martin who owns a business that sells pellets and pellet stoves. He sells a lot of both - he purchases pellets in train car loads. Eaxh train car load contains 80 tons of pellets and he purchases and re-sells hundreds of train cars worth a year.

    Here is what the article says about Jed Martin and corn:

    "Although Martin started out sellling and promoting only corn burners, he found that wood pellets are far easier to burn and the appliance easier to maintain. Pellets do not vary significantly in density, moisture content or BTu content. Their uniformity helps keep customers' stoves trouble free. After several years of promoting corn stoves, Martin has decided that only the "right" person should attempt to burn corn. The varying moisture content, density, mineral, sugar and starch content alter the energy value from load to load. Plus it is more difficult to maintain a corn-burning appliance. If you live on a farm that grows corn, or close to one, and can get well-dried fuel and are willing to do more frequent amintenace on your stove, then burning corn might be for you. Martin sells corn stoves, but they only represent a small percentage of total sales"

    Martin also has a joint patent on pellet stove venting with Glenn Edgar of Selkirk. This latest pellet stove venting system by Selkirk is a concrentic system that keeps the installation neater and allows pre-heating of the outside combustion air. The new direct-vent pellet venting system is called "Direct-Temp for Pellet" It is UL listed. Looks to be a very clean & efficient venting system for pellet stoves. Check it out at www.selkirkusa.com for more info.

    Currently 16 degrees F in Northwest Ohio.
  9. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    I just don't see what the "extra maintenance" thing is with the corn as opposed to pellets. Yes it gets a bit dirtier and leaves about double the ash but if you are that physically challenged then you should definitely go electric and just get yer wallet out. There is a certain amount of maintenance involved with any burning appliance. Personally for the 50% price savings and extra 20 0r so % heat involved its a no brainer. I just bought a metric ton of corn last Monday for $97. Compare that to $180 + if you can find them for pellets. Like they say in the Capital one ad " Whats in your wallet"
  10. hitopp

    hitopp New Member

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    Those 2 tons of pellets just sold on ebay for $912.
  11. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    PT Barnum said it best, "Theres a sucker born every minute" $450 / ton is just plain stupid unless its some sort of hoax, scam ect......
  12. bruce

    bruce Member

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    another sucker is on ebay now! 450$ per ton of pellets item #6016346101
    maybee ill drive there and sell some pellets myself!
  13. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

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    At this point anyone here with pellets would do better to sell the pellets they have, buy oil, and keep the difference ;-)

    -- MW
  14. Sundeep Arole

    Sundeep Arole New Member

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    There is all kinds of fraud on ebay. I have seen many sellers list items only to have a shill bid up a high price for them - mainly for the intention of skewing the results in the "completed items" section. Now the seller can list more pellets, and when a unassuming prospective buyer goes to research the price, they will find the $450/ton price in one completed item. That will psycologically prepare them to bid upto that price,and eventually get scared into paying it thinking that is the going price as there is a big shortage.
  15. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Anybody that can't pick up the phone, call a dealer and find out what pellets cost before they buy them online I have no sympathy for whatsoever.
  16. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    A buddy of mine lives in Massachusetts. He said he paid $179/ton for his there in Spring. He says now wood pellets are $300/ton, you others living there can confirm it or not. He also said, cord of wood in Cape Code Massachusetts is... $370/cord and I don't know what part of Cape Cod he's referring to.
  17. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I see a local company in Tacoma just started manufacturing pellets. They're being sold in the area for as low as @ $139/ton. I'm going to pick up a few bags and try them out.
  18. Sundeep Arole

    Sundeep Arole New Member

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    Allright! The free market at work...
  19. mrgoodwrench

    mrgoodwrench New Member

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    I paid $155 a ton for Pennington brand pellets in Virginia. They burn great, no problems. They are now sold out. I was told more are expected in the next 2 weeks.
  20. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

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    $370/cord

    I'd call the oil man first

    Cord of Red Oak = 181 gallons of Fuel Oil

    181 gallons of #2 @ 2.25/gallon = $407.25

    Why bother for the "savings" of $30.00?
    Glad I have 6 acres (that we own) of wooded land around my house
  21. heatxchanger

    heatxchanger New Member

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    I can't temember the article exactly but it was in homepower magazine. See www.homepower.com

    Anyway, they determined that it takes about 10 acres of wooded land for an infinitely renewable energy source to heat your home. At least I think it was ten acres.

    Keep in mind that plants (we are talking trees here) grow at a very rapid rate nad then a certain percentage of them die / fall over each year. There is no difference to the enviroment wheather you burn the timber or let it rot on the ground because the same amout of carbon dioxide get release to the environmnet per year in either case. This is why modern clean burning stoves are the ultimate in renewable energy or green as the tree huggers would say. This should be obvious to everybody - completely clear a single acre of land down to dirt and then check out what has grown there after only 1 year! The same amout of plant material then dies each year. If this were not the case the trees would reach to the moon, right?

    Anyway, this discussion about the high price of pellets make me wonder about how much it would cost to buy the equipment to start up a pellet operation. i know it would not be cheap but with the high prices that pellets are commanding you would think the return on investment would be quick! Here in northern ohio it seems most of the cleared timber/pruned branches gets turned into mulch!

    Perhaps corn burning stoves are the answer. The problem with corn is storage: mammals from mice to deer want to eat it. Also you only burn the kernels and throw away the rest of the plant. At least with trees you can convert the trunk and branches into pellets.

    Anyway, I have had several beers at the local watering hole so please excuse me if this post is a bit off-the-wall.


    later,

    heatxchanger
  22. Darryl Rose

    Darryl Rose Member

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    It takes millions and raw material is hard to find. To be viable, you will need 60,000 to 100,000 tons of sawdust per year and you cannot make premium grade fuel unless the bark is removed.
  23. Darryl Rose

    Darryl Rose Member

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    Additionally, you will need to be close to your raw material supply, close to your market and near major traffic lanes to get economical shipping rates.
  24. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Hey Darryl,

    A friend is using pellets for his horse stalls. Is there a formula difference between wood stove pellets and the animal litter style pellets?

    - Will
  25. jfsharron

    jfsharron Member

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    Usually, the only difference is the bedding pellets are sent through a crubmbler. The Crumbler takes these, ordinary, pellets and, as the name implies, crumbles them into smaller pieces. This exposes more surface area for better absorbancy and creates a more comfortable bedding for the animal (larger animals tend to have issues getting "regular" pellets caught in their hoofs).

    Different prices? Well, they're different markets. When animal bedding pellets were introduced, they were introduced into a market that commanded higher price points already. This was a welcome market to pellet manufacturers selling products in the heating market at extremly low margins that have diminished over the years (rising costs, but prices remaining the same- many of the price increases you are seeing this year are due to freight (I just set up a distributor with a load that he's going to pay $8,400 in freight for) or unscrupulous dealers taking advantge of this year's situation, but, for manufacturers, it remains to be an extremly competitive, tight margin industry).
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