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Korean wood pellet market 2021 update

Korean wood pellet importing volume is forecasted to be more than 3 million tons in 2021. The figure for the first five month in 2021 is 1.4 million tons and the CIF price is about $120.

Wood pellet importing volume reached the peak in 2018 by about 3.4 million tons, then reduced to 3 million tons per year in 2019 and 2020. The CIF price reduced from more than $150/ton in 2018 to less than $110/ton in 2020. There is a recovery in wood pellet price in Korea in 2021, which is close to the price level in 2019.

Figure 1: Wood pellet imported to Korea volume and price from 2012 to May 2021

Source: ITC Trademap & Analysis by BVN


Figure 2: Wood pellet imported to Korea volume from 2012 to May 2021 by countries

Source: ITC Trademap & Analysis by BVN

 

Vietnam contributes the most volume of Korean importing wood pellet. Vietnam has exported more than 60% of Korean imported wood pellet since the middle of 2015. The second biggest player is Malaysia, which is followed by Indonesia. This proportion has been stable for long time.

Figure 3: Korean market share 3 month moving average

Source: ITC Trademap & Analysis by BVN

 

The CIF price trend by countries are the same, excepting Canada. There is an increasing trend from the beginning of 2020 to May 2021. The CIF price for May is about $120.

Canada wood pellet CIF price to Korea is much higher than other countries. The Canadian price level has been higher than $180 since 2018. The biggest wood pellet producer in Canada (Pinnacle) will supply 100,000 ton to GS Global from 2022. The contract was signed in 2019.

Figure 4: Korean wood pellet CIF price 3 month moving average (USD/ton)

Source: ITC Trademap & Analysis by BVN

 

In conclusion, there is a recovery in wood pellet CIF price from the beginning of 2020. This leads to the increase in wood pellet supply in Korea. Vietnam is the biggest supplier to this market, although the highest CIF price wood pellet is Canada.