Are people having issues getting pellets this year?

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md2002

Feeling the Heat
Oct 18, 2011
359
United States
Hello,
I just wanted to check in, I live in Mass. and I'm having trouble finding a 'variety' of pellets this year. All my normal spots have been out of stock for months and tell me they wont have anymore till November? I'm just wondering if others are seeing the same issue?

I can get Green Team and Green Supreme from Lowes and HD but the higher quality that I normal get I can't find. There is also the other extreme. The pellets I can find, Northern Warmth, the places are asking for $454 - $489 a ton!
 

GrumpyDad

Minister of Fire
Feb 23, 2022
562
Champion, PA
Everything costs double what it did a few years ago. Quality and availability are super low, and many things are hard to find.
Workers are impossible to find in my state. Where did they go, how do they survive? In mom's basement?
Mcdonald's workers making $15 an hour. A crappy 'value' meal costs near $10.

I really hope things bounce back but I dont think that will happen for another year.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
30,290
central pa
More pellets are being shipped to Europe to partly replace natural gas.
Sorry, we need to try alternative formations, such as wood chips and maybe shredded leaves.
You will then also need stoves to burn those products
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
30,290
central pa
Everything costs double what it did a few years ago. Quality and availability are super low, and many things are hard to find.
Workers are impossible to find in my state. Where did they go, how do they survive? In mom's basement?
Mcdonald's workers making $15 an hour. A crappy 'value' meal costs near $10.

I really hope things bounce back but I dont think that will happen for another year.
Workers are absolutely not impossible to find in PA we get atleast one person looking for work a week and we aren't advertising a job available. Workers willing to work for low pay are definitely getting hard to find though
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
30,290
central pa
Automate the work then. A good businessman don't blame the outside world.
The era of cheap labor is gone for good. Pandemic is only the trigger. World's most populous countries, China and India, are pulling themselves out of poverty. There are much fewer convenient places with cheap labor to outsource our manufacturing.
Some things can't be automated. And if we automate everything where will people work?
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
30,290
central pa
Automation is labor-saving technologies. Automation alleviates inflation pressure by cutting real cost, thus enable government and private sector to spend and invest more money.
The fed and congress are able to balance the equations under new equilibrium between assets and labor. As long as they are functional -- for example don't weaponize the debt ceiling --, there will still be enough number of jobs in the macro-economy.
Yes labor saving. That equates to job eliminating. What good is making cheaper goods if people don't have jobs allowing them to buy goods.

There already aren't enough jobs that pay well and you think reducing that number will help?
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
30,290
central pa
But regardless what does this have to do with a pellet shortage? Try to stay on topic for once
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
30,290
central pa
Wood pellets are optimized for long haul delivery, e.g. Carolinas to UK. Chips are cheaper for local circulation.
Pellet stoves should be designed to be compatible with chips, to hedge against fluctuation in global fuel prices.
But they aren't set up to run wood chips. If you think that is a viable solution develop it. What have you done to develop any of these revolutionary ideas you have??
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
7,696
Northern NH
The local TSC which doubled up on pellets late summer is now down to much smaller inventory. My guess is it will soon be down to nothing.
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
1,713
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
All our local hardware stores still have a normal inventory on hand, granted pellets aren't a very popular fuel here so stocks don't deplenish as quickly.
 
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md2002

Feeling the Heat
Oct 18, 2011
359
United States
I've never tries the TSC pellets but this year might be the year. I suppose they're worth a try.
 

shtrdave

Feeling the Heat
Feb 13, 2012
340
SW PA
I have been buying from the local feed store for quite a few years now. they seem to always have them in stock. I go through 3-4 ton a year and got 4 this year. He didn't mention being hard toget only that current price was 275 and they are priced by the load anymore as they are varying from the mills.
 

johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
4,383
Eastern Ontario
The dealer I buy from has 3 brands and an unbelievable amount in stock
He has 3 buildings full like this. This one is all Cubix his biggest seller
1665449196669.png
 

Jeremy6500

Feeling the Heat
Jan 22, 2021
295
Indiana
I just picked up 3 tons of Magic Spark/Pro Pellets from Menards for $222 a ton after rebate.

I think TSC stock Pro Pellets. At least around here they do. I would classify them as an above average hard wood pellet. Not the best, but definitely pretty good.
7A3D3272-A0D4-47B1-B2CE-9CFFA42DC6DC.jpeg
 

vinny11950

Minister of Fire
May 17, 2010
1,788
Eastern Long Island, NY
I have only checked Lowes and HD by me and they have the same brands as last year, except about $1 higher per bag, so $6.58 per bag, $6.26 if you buy bulk. I am on the fence if I should buy now or later, but I am thinking I should buy soon now that Opec is cutting oil production. I was hoping falling oil prices would force down heating oil prices which would pull down heating costs on pellets. Oh well. I still have a ton of quality pellets from last year. So maybe I buy another 3 tons of crappy pellets from HD for around $1,050, all costs including delivery. My stove burns just about everything, so no issue there.
 

tlc1976

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2012
1,143
Northwest Lower Michigan
I got my Pro Pellets from TSC in June as soon as they got their fresh stock in. Paid $240 a ton which was only $5 more a ton than the two previous years. I just checked and they are up to $300 a ton right now.

I’ve always tried to get them early. Since I was a kid, the one thing I always heard was guys dealing with pellet shortages in the spring.
 
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peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
7,696
Northern NH
Pellet Plants make product year round and its gets stored in warehouse somewhere for use in a 3 or 4 month season. Warehouses cost money to build own and operate so someone is paying to store them. If its stored up in rural Maine, they the pellets need to be reloaded and shipped by truck to another storage location, preferably under cover but possibly in a parking lot. If its under cover its probably another regional warehouse so that means paying to store it twice and then possibly redistribute it again which means more handling. The Fed has pretty well warned wall street and the rest of the economy that interest rates are going up and staying up so the cost of money and holding inventory is more costly.

There is currently a nationwide shortage of warehouse space as Covid convinced companies that "just in time from China" is no longer sustainable so they are filling up warehouses with inventory they would have never considered just a few years ago. There is also a problem that retailers bought too much inventory and the wrong inventory during Covid. Add in the ports mess out west and it means countrywide warehouse space is at a premium. The other shortage is drivers, there are not enough of them and the firms that hire them have to pay premiums to keep good drivers. Both of these factors are going to mean that when there is short term demand for pellets that the local inventory is not going to be replenished. If someone has backup like oil and gas they will be able to get it at a big premium but if someone depends on pellets, my opinion is a winter's worth of pellets stored at home are going to be a better investment in the long run than holding out for a mild winter and sales on pellets.
 
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rich2500

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2005
1,415
Berks County PA.
Plenty of inventory at my local places but who knows how long that will last
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
30,290
central pa
Force chips through with a large diameter auger/tube and a big motor.
Open loop control should be sufficient to switch between chip and pellet, use a higher feeding rate for chip than pellets.
So make a stove. You clearly know more than any of us so get start doing something
 
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rickwai

Minister of Fire
Nov 1, 2011
1,348
ohio
Here in Central OH I got Somersets for $225/ton and plenty of supply
 

Mt Bob

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2013
4,075
park county montana
Force chips through with a large diameter auger/tube and a big motor.
Open loop control should be sufficient to switch between chip and pellet, use a higher feeding rate for chip than pellets.
"Chipping" is part of the process of producing wood pellets. If you stopped there, you would still have to dry the chips to reduce moisture. I'm thinking you really don't know much about these processes.
 

Mt Bob

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2013
4,075
park county montana
We get very little variety, being a large but low population state, anyway. I have more than enough for winter,anyway, from last year purchases, but may grab a ton, after I get one unloaded from old truck, been in the back since last year,lol. But as I prefer less cleaning anyway, I am still willing to pay more for higher quality.
 

Shank

Member
May 21, 2022
90
Ohio
Everything local to me seems to have moved from $250 now to $300/Ton as the season is drawing closer. Stores still seem to have stock though. When I bought in roughly July, almost no one had stock.
 
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bogieb

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2014
3,178
South Central NH
Local TSC looks like it has plenty - but we'll see by the time winter is over. Those aren't top of the line pellets, but that is what I typically use unless I find a great deal on CL over the summer. With fuel and electric prices spiking (electric here has gone up 75-100% in last couple of months), there has been a massive amount of interest in putting in pellet stoves or dusting off a stove that hasn't seen use for a couple of years. That might cause a situation that we haven't seen in this area since the winter of 2014/2015, where there were shortages and limits on how much stores would sell at a time. And that goes doubly so if it is a hard winter, which we haven't seen for a couple of years.

I've got plenty for this winter, so am not worried. I had 6 tons delivered when HD had a nice sale last sping, We had a second mild winter in a row, and people had been dropping pellet stoves in favor of other fuels or using min-splits, so they just needed to offload what was overstocked. They are GS - but they burn fine and put out decent heat. If I have to clean the stoves a bit more often, so be it. I'm all about value and in my case, middle-of-the-road pellets is where that is at.