By johann foucault
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Summer is not over yet and a question is already being raised, in the context of the current energy crisis: people heating themselves with wood pellet stoves Will they have enough pellets this winter?
Because demand is already high, professionals point out, which happens much earlier in the year than usual. what to fear shortage ? It all depends in part on the consumers. explanations.
The price has almost doubled in a year.
Now, a first not very reassuring observation, the price of wood pelletsalso called pellets, has almost doubled in a year. While the price of a ton of pellets packed in 15kg bags was €280 in July 2021, it has now reached €550, TotalEnergies notes.
An increase confirmed by Eric Vial, general delegate of Propellet, the national association of wood pellet heating professionals. “We are between 80 and 100% increase compared to the same period last year,” he explained to UFC-Que Choisir, which is confirmed by a Propellet spokesman in news.fr.
A situation unpublished while “the pellet is a local energy”, produced mainly in France. “We are not at all used to having large price variations [… étant] little dependent, normally, on geopolitical problems”, he continued.
Inflation and war in Ukraine
But the war in Ukraine and the inflationary context have been there. Since this increase is due in particular to the general increase in energy costs for make the sawdust of wood (electricity and gas), but also to the increase in transport cost (fuels), as well as the rise in commodity prices (packaging).
Thus, “to produce a ton of pellets, we currently have an additional cost of between 100 and 130 euros”, completes the Propellet association in a press release. “However, given the economic situation, the pellet grows less than other energies and in the end it will never have been so competitive,” says the association.
And in the coming months, what to expect? As the price of the pellet “is directly linked to several factors (transport, packaging, packaging), therefore, it is not possible to predict possible future increasesexplains to news.fr a spokesperson for Propellet.
On the other hand, it is certain that the French wood pellet sector will commit itself “to offering a product at the fairest possible price for the consumer. »
In this context, and given the rise in energy prices, more and more consumers, companies or municipalities have also decided to take the plunge and choose to heat themselves with a pellet stove or boiler.
to do jump demandalready favored by a system of government incentive aid and the prohibition of installing diesel or coal boilers from July 1, 2022.
Consequence: “the demand for heating with pellets has grown spectacularly”, underlines Propellet. Between 2020 and 2021, sales of pellet stoves have thus increased by +41% and sales of pellet boilers by 120%“with 180,000 and 32,000 coins respectively.”
The non-renewal of diesel appliances from July 1 will continue to promote the advancement of household appliances and especially pellet boilers that work like diesel ones since they provide domestic hot water.
A situation that is all the more tense since professionals can no longer count on the 15% of pellets that are usually imported from Russia, Belarus or the Ukraine.
Additionally, consumers are already flocking to bags of pellets, in anticipation of winter and fear of lack and possible additional price increases. Currently, “the demand for pellets is between two and five times higher than the average”observes Propeller.
Eric Vial observes for his part that “some people, instead of ordering a ton of pellets, buy two or three, to the point that some distributors refuse to accept new customers”.
Should we therefore fear a shortage ? No, says Eric Vial, for whom “consumers should keep a cool head: our data shows that there is nothing to worry about. The current tension is real and there is a small lack of volumes, but the sector is working to fill it.” “We must also insist on everyone’s responsibilityadds the Propellet spokesperson tonews.fr.
A reasoned and consistent storage, as well as a regular maintenance of the devices for good performance and optimal performance, will allow not to aggravate the situation.
The situation is even more encouraging that the sector organize itself, in particular to avoid excess stocks, and provide, “thanks to the expansion of certain production lines and the construction of new granulation plants”, an additional million tons distributed between 2021 and 2024 and “a doubling of production capacity by 2028.”
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