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Southern Maine Pellet Supply Drying Up

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by mkmh, Jul 9, 2008.

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  1. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    When oil is at $5 plus a gallon, it can hardly even be called panic........people simply cannot afford to heat their house - and spending 3K on a pellet stove and another 1.5K on 5 tons of pellets isn't cheap either, but at least the winters heating is something they can look at in the garage.

    If we have a warm fall and late winter, there are going to be some good deals....on the other hand, if Bush attacks Iran, etc....all bets are off.

    No one knows what is going to happen...no one! Well, maybe Cheney does, but he isn't telling.

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  2. atheriault

    atheriault New Member

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    I have been talking to anybody and everybody who's in the know and there doesn't seem to be any good reason to panic. People with new/small stoves are buying 10-14 tons at a time not knowing what their real need is. If you talk to the sales clerk at Home Depot or Lowe's who knows nothing except for the fact that pellets are selling out, you might think that we're all going to go cold this winter. Talking to the folks that actually deal with the pellet manufacturers, everything is going to be fine. I'm just annoyed that I can't build a small inventory so I don't have to be hauling a ton of pellets in the fall.
  3. NoMoreOPEC

    NoMoreOPEC Member

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    A message from New England Wood Pellet founder, Steve Walker, on the current wood pellet supply and demand issues in the Northeast.

    http://www.pelletheat.com/
  4. slls

    slls Minister of Fire

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    That is what I told my son-in-law, he is worried. I told him when the panic is over there will be all kinds of pellets, he is still worried.
  5. ugenetoo

    ugenetoo New Member

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    all the worry in the world wont do anything except give you an ulcer. tell him to lighten up or he might miss the whole summer beer drinking season. :coolsmile:
  6. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

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    My father in law sits every sunday for breakfast with Ken Eldridge(CEO of Corinth Pellet Plant).....there is nothing but good news coming from him. He is on schedule to INCREASE production at the plant and they are running well. The plant is running 24/7 and he estimates an ample supply :) Theres plenty of pellets to go around right now. :) The key like every year is to buy early!! Not in January! But.....there is more plants online and expect very good pricing competition. There more doom in speculation than there is the actual availability of product. Its the STOVES I would worry more about that the pellets at this time. They cant keep up with the stoves.
  7. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Pretty funny!

    Asking folks to be communists.....don't buy more than you need! Be a nice guy....finish last. Plan ahead.

    Did anyone ever tell him we live in America?

    You may be a nice guy, I may be a nice guy....but the MOB will always line up for the iphones and pellets.
  8. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Good news has been coming from Bear Stearn, Lehmans Brothers and even Enron until a couple weeks before the fall...point is, CEOs are paid to have and spread good news!

    How many quotes can you find from the top CEO - GW Bush himself, telling us over the last year that the economy is sound and that it is growing and if we wait it will get even better?

    Every man for himself!

    I do believe there are plenty of pellets in Maine......plenty of wood there, so - yes- it is probably true that pellets will be fine in terms of supply. However, murphys law has never failed before, and it will not this time either. They will probably have too much supply or not enough.....never just right.
  9. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    OK. Pellet stoves have been around for what, 20 years or so now? Has anybody ever seen a good supply of pellets available in January?

    Not a crack. A serious question cause I don't know.
  10. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Sure, I would say that most years there is plenty of supply in Jan, and for that matter year-round.

    This is on a regional basis, of course, since Pellet stoves have until recently been very regional. As a for instance, after the first pellet boom of 1990-1994, you could not find pellets anywhere near my shop- in a major metro area (philly - s. jersey). There were simply no outlets for pellets...or pellet stoves, for that matter. Our store stopped selling the stoves because of problems with the early units and the shops that had sold 100's in the first boom (Jamestown, etc.) went out of biz due to slow sales and service problems. Some pellet mills folded - like Catamount in MA and others.

    But there were Pellets available out of WV, out of the west (freight by rail was not too bad then) and in NY state and certain areas of New England. The west usually had decent supply also.

    Much of what is going on now is "new history", so we really can't learn much by looking back...I did learn to not trust rumors nor statements like "pellets will be coming down and down in price"
  11. mkmh

    mkmh New Member

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    I actually liked the Steve Walker announcement. Good to see some transparency from a big producer like NEWP, and his explanation makes good sense. He made a lot of good points in his statement, and of course he is correct that there is no production issue at this point. The problem is of course an (understandable) lack of faith by the consumer that there will be enough pellets for everyone this year.
    I really hope the producers rise to the challenge and meet the demand this winter. If it weren't for the opportunist resellers out there who prey on fear and panic I think they could do it. Unfortunately i'm guessing they won't be able to quite keep up this year, so some stove owners will feel some pain, and a some owners will undoubtedly pay some silly prices for pellets.

    I know some of our seasoned hearth members think this year is just another blip in cycle of things, but I sincerly believe that 4-5 dollar a gallon gas and oil has changed the game forever for americans. Many people would not dream of dealing with space heating and screwing around with a stove to save 300 dollars on their winter heating bill, but now we're in a situation where the savings could be significantly higher....and many literally can't afford 5.00 oil so they have to do something or deal with the prospect of wearing a snow suit in doors all winter.
  12. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Truth is we don't know about blips and such things....but you would be skeptical if you were around for the other energy "crisis" and heard the exact same words that are being spoken today. Maybe there always was/is a crisis - but we as a people (and therefore our government) refuse to do anything about it except try desperately to find more oil.

    No one thought there was a production issue with pellets! It is a supply demand issue, and blaming it on the customer who wants to buy product (how much is up to the customer) seems a bit strange. Heck, if customers went the other way around and bought 10 bags instead of a ton (thinking prices would drop), he'd be complaining about that! Being in business means a constant crisis - that is the name of the game. I appreciate that he is delivering a message, but blaming the customer for wanting to put up fuel for a cold winter is off the mark. I really doubt that Steve turned down large orders from long term clients a few months ago by telling the cash buyers "hey, we don't want to sell you a lot because we won't have enough for others who MAY come along later". It's just not the way business is done. Heck, if the Englanders go on sale at the end of this season for 599 again, we are gonna have hearth.com members doing a run on the bank and buying two stoves instead of one, thereby "denying" the right of another customer to get a stove.

    My point is that human behavior does not follow the rules of being reasonable. If such was true, I doubt we would be selling as many pellet stoves OR pellet fuel. Maybe next we will see notes from Harman telling people not to buy pellet stoves unless they really need them....or notes from the oil companies telling the public not to buy SUVs or pickups, so as to save some fuel for the next person.

    :cheese:
  13. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky New Member

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    Yeah, what Craig said.

    It's funny, I know people who are in panic at this point. Harmon dealers are saying they can "maybe" get a stove out to them in January.

    I say, good for the stove companies but they better not let quality slip.
  14. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

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    Big difference with some of the elite CEO's and some that are just plain people CEO's and mingle with the likes of the common man....the CEO that I spoke of jumps right in with his guys in the plant and works like he is a worker himself....not common in the corporate world for some CEO's.
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