Portugal occupies a prominent position among pellet producers in the European Union, ranking between fifth and sixth place. The amount handled by the crushed wood sector varies between 110 and 130 million euros per year and more than 80% of production is directed to foreign markets.
According to João Ferreira, of the National Pellets Association, the volume produced “is increasing”. This is an important point, since there was a disruption in supply: consumers had difficulties to find pellets at large distributors, such as Leroy Merlin and Brico Depot, and hypermarkets in the Porto region.
This absence brings an analysis of the pellet market. The climatic factor, with the prolonged cold in these last weeks, generated a high demand for pellets for homes – surpassing the pace at which stores renew their stock. For the industry, the problem did not happen due to deliveries, but because distributors did not hold stocks to supply moments when there is an increase in demand. “In Portugal, and contrary to what happens in other European countries where the market is more mature, distributors are limited to placing orders according to their specific needs”, comments João Ferreira.
For distributors, the barriers are not related to poor stock management. The reasons pointed out by them go in the direction of preference for the foreign market, in which the sale price is more attractive to the industry; and the damage to pellet production after the fires at the factories located in Pedrógão and Mortágua, in the summer. However, João Ferreira argues that despite the tragedy, “other smaller units were created whose production is exclusively directed to the national market”.
The information is from the website Público, in April 2018.