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Pellet Supply Redux

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by vgrund, Jan 7, 2006.

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  1. vgrund

    vgrund Feeling the Heat

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    Anecdotally speaking, pellet supply problems seem to be easing slightly in my area (Amherst, NH). I've seen plenty of pellets at a local pellet dealer for $248/ton (last time I checked) and smaller quanitities at Home Depot for $228/ton. Is this a local observation or part of a broader trend? Your comments are welcome.

    Victor

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  2. roac

    roac New Member

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    Probably due to a combination of factors such as increased supply, increased avg. temp. and the fact most people finally have all they need for the rest of the season. It could get bad again if the temps and weather get bad fast. People go crazy watching the news.
  3. richg

    richg Minister of Fire

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    Here in Norther NJ, it is a crisis beyond description. I went to a local hearth shop to browse around, and it turns out that they had a load of pellets come in last night. The line was out the door and the phone was ringing off the hook. They were limiting people to five bags. Home Depot, Lowes, Sams Club Wal Mart etc have nothing and have no idea when shipments are coming in.
  4. zogboy

    zogboy New Member

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    If you look on ebay you will see a--wipes trying to sell pellets as if they contained gold dust.
    I only hope no one is silly enough to pay more than 150 - 200 a ton for pellets.
    Maybe in the spring people will pick them up for a reasonable price.
  5. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    Price depends are were you are
    We are in central California and get our pellets from Canada. 800+ tons a year with the bulk of them sold in the summer.
    we pay over $110 per ton JUST FOR THE SHIPPING.
    and sell them for $245 per ton.

    The local Big box stores price range is $200 - $299 per ton.
  6. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    Massachusetts here......somewhat large dealer ourselves, selling between 3-4000 tons per year. We sell 4 brands so as not to put all our eggs in one basket. The supply issue up to this point is horrendous here. Currently out of pellets, we get roughtly 50 calls per day from folks looking for some. Im told that the competition is no better. Weve attempted to get some pellets from the West Coast, so far, that train of 72 tons is late, and we are told now we wont see them till February...frankly, Im not trusting that. We got a truck in on New years eve....23 tons came in, we sold 17 tons between 7 am and 12 am, when we closed.
    We've found alot of folks who are out of pellets, have none to burn....I feel bad for that person who cant seem to plan ahead or didnt have the money earlier in the year. There are also people who are "hedging their bets"....maybe they have enough pellets to get through the year, but are buying an extra half-to one ton to make sure.
    Im told that there are roughly 17,000 new pellet stoves in New England in 2005, with almost no more supply than in 2004....instant supply issue.
    As for someone above who thinks anything above $150/ton is riduculous for pellets, well, my COST is far above that (shipping is 40-50 dollars per ton to us). I dont know about you, but at least for me, I feel I need to make SOME money on the pellets.
  7. Michael6268

    Michael6268 Feeling the Heat

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    With the projected cost increases for 2006, I just dont see the savings......... My dealer I buy coal from is projecting his price 250.00-300.00 a ton!
  8. lime4x4

    lime4x4 Member

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    neither do i..Was using pellets was able to get them for 170 a ton.Then the shortage started and now there well over 200 a ton if u can find them..Many local dealers that are able to get pellets are only selling to the people that just bought a pellet stove this heating season.There not even dealing with past cust. and there limiting them to 10 bags per week.Some local people on ebay are getting 600 bucks for 1000lbs and people are bidding on them..At the price your better off paying for oil or gas.But alot of people went solely to pellets.I myself i'm glad i got rid of the pellet stove i'll stay with coal.Currently 120 to 130 a ton picked up.Already got just over 5 tons in the basement..The basement i have sectioned off for coal will hold around 15 tons..Planning on filling it up then i'll be set for a long long long time
  9. zogboy

    zogboy New Member

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    I am simply saying that if consumers refuse to play along with this irrational exuberance in the pellet market, the price will fall to a level that allows value for the consumer as well as profit for the supplier.
    John
  10. vgrund

    vgrund Feeling the Heat

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    It will happen eventually... The Invisible Hand will sort it out.

    Coal is out for us - way too messy & not renewable. Corn is out too; I've gone to way too much trouble to exclude mice already. So, it's pellets or cordwood or forget it and stick with LP.
  11. lime4x4

    lime4x4 Member

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    coal really isn't that messy..When i get it it's wet so that greatly helps with keeping the dust down.The only down fall is like u said it's not renewable
  12. papabear

    papabear New Member

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    Hello lime4X4,
    Do you mind telling me where you purchase your coal and is it chestnut or rice?

    I am on the Tioga County, PA line next to Bradford County and pick nut size up for $185./ton.
    I'm trying to find some cheaper. I travel a lot and if I could stock up this summer when I am enroute already, I may be able to save some serious money if I am going by or near a coal dealer anyway. I just put this coal stove in November so I've pretty much written off this winter for saving much.

    Thanks!
    PapaBear
  13. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Saw 1 pallet of pellets at the BORG about 3 days ago...they put it at the exit. I asked how much a ton... 325.00
  14. Xena

    Xena Minister of Fire

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    Home Depot down here in Southeastern Massachusetts had 18 tons as of late this afternoon.
    $229.00 a ton.
  15. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    What I am saying is the high price has not been from the Pellet manufactures it is due to the high cost of shipping.
    My cost of the Pellet fuel has only gone up $10 per ton in the past 3 years but my shipping has almost doubled.
    The average Cost to dealers is $90 to $110 per ton not counting shipping.
    Most Pellet dealers are only making $20 - $40 per ton profit. That is not much considering the space and time it takes to have pellet fuel in stock.
    We make more money selling a stove than we do selling two truck loads of fuel.
    The blame in on the high cost of trucking.
  16. roac

    roac New Member

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    hearthtools,

    If shipping is so bad then why buy from Canada?? That truck must drive by a half dozen American producers. :-/
  17. vgrund

    vgrund Feeling the Heat

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    Here's a guy asking about burning bedding pellets. How sad is that?

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pelletstove/message/1885

    Anyway, I'll be watching Spring prices and availability closely. It will be interesting to see how the industry responds to current demand. I began the heating season thinking about adding a pellet stove this summer, but the saga I've witnessed so far makes me question the logic of that plan.
  18. Michael6268

    Michael6268 Feeling the Heat

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    Contrary to what most people think, bagged coal is much cleaner than wood pellets. I had a pellet stove years ago. After a couple weeks you could "write your name" in the dust that settled on everything that came off the pellets when loading the stove. Now with coal, it comes "pre washed and I notice only a faint amount of dust.
  19. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    That sounds like a pellet co. with a lot of fines in it their bags. I know my wife would hoot if she saw lots of pellet dust after a few weeks. If one looks at what comes out of the chimney I think pellets would be considered cleaner. No mercury for example.
  20. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    I wouldn't worry much about mice in the corn. There have been several articles recently where folks who used both pellets and corn noticed that the mice were ignoring the corn but going after the pellets. Go figure.
  21. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    Well, Im afraid I disagree on the mice and RATS. Worked WAY too long in a feed business not to know better. It might take a while, but the local rodent population WILL find the supply, and WILL also find a way in to get to it. Mice may sometimes build a home in the skid of pellets, but they will actively seek out food. As a retailer, I really dont want to deal with folks getting freaked out by rats.
  22. vgrund

    vgrund Feeling the Heat

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    I have to agree (with HarryBack). Mice are very curious and persistent. They will find a way if there is a major food supply around where they lurk. This fall I spent an enormous amount of effort and a fair amount of $$$ excluding the little &^%&^ from my basement. The previous owners seemed to recognize there were a few around but addressed only the symptoms (by trapping) instead of the cause (entry points). Yeck. I still freak out thinking about the nasty mess I found in basement ceiling insulation. Corn is off my list, period.
  23. richg

    richg Minister of Fire

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    Some bitter irony is that untold thousands of people bought pellet stoves with the expectation that they would save on katrina-related oil and gas price spikes. The tidal wave of new pellet burners drove the cost of pellet heating far above oil and gas,and pooped the bed for those who are long-term pellet burners. I am already placing an order for 2006-2007 pellets, which should be delivered in April.
  24. lime4x4

    lime4x4 Member

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    True with the current cost of pellets your better off using oil or gas..it's not as cheap as it was before..
  25. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    Gotta disagree about pellets being more expensive than oil. Alot depends upon WHEN you get your pellets. The wiser pellet consumer bought their pellets in the off-season, when they were MUCH cheaper and more readily available. Bought my 5 tons in the summer, which will save me roughly $1500.00 over what the oil would have cost. Unfortunately, MANY people seem to not understand that it gets cold in winter...they wait until winter is here to get their pellets....isnt that kind of like buying roses on Valantines Day? You pay a premium due to the fact that you lacked the foresight to plan ahead. RichG above had it exactly right.....alot more pellet stoves with no more supply, at least in New England. We did our best to try to persuade our pellet customers to order their pellets with their stoves, and so far, all of my customers have had pellets. Oh, sure, theres some genuises who figured i was just trying to get add-on sales, but after reading a few horror stories in the local ultraliberal newspapers, they called back and said theyd changed their minds, and would we please add pellets to their order.........
    Here, Ill do you all a service:

    PELLETS WILL BE VERY HARD TO GET IN 2006, ESPECIALLY IF YOU WAIT UNTIL FALL OR WINTER! DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND BUY YOUR PELLETS BEFORE FALL! ENSURE YOUR PELLET SUPPLY! IMAGINE THE FEELING OF SMUGNESS YOULL HAVE IN DECEMBER WHEN ITS COLD OUT, YOU ARE SITTING WARM IN FRONT OF YOUR PELLET STOVE, WITH PLENTY OF PELLETS, PATTING YOURSELF ON THE BACK FOR HAVING THE FORESIGHT TO BUY YOUR PELLETS EARLY......SURELY YOU ARE SMARTER THAN THE AVERAGE JOE (OR JEMIMAH...sorry gals)!
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