The Italian wood pellet market developed almost exclusively for domestic heating with pellets typically packaged in small bags (15 kg). This market has experienced a fast growth since around 2000. The annual pellet consumption in Italy has grown from 150,000 tons in 2001, to around 850,000 tons in 2008. However, other sources (AIEL) estimate the consumption in 2008 at around 1.1 million tons.
The prevailing pellet appliances are pellet stoves and Italy has become the biggest pellet stove market in Europe, with an estimate of 700,000 units sold until 2009.
Also the production has constantly grown from 160,000 tons in 2001 to approx. 650,000 tons in 2008. A large number of small to medium size producers is active in Italy. Currently more than 90 companies produce pellets but only 20 of them exceed an annual production of 5,000 tonnes. Most of them started their activity using own sawmill waste (sawdust, shavings etc.) as raw material and selling the pellets in their region. Now they are experiencing a shortage of raw material and they are forced to import wood, especially from the Balkans (e.g. Romania and Bulgaria) or pellets from Austria, Slovenia and a number of other countries.
In summary, Italy is not only the most important market (and an important producer) for pellet stoves but also the largest (import) market for bagged pellets.
Please refer to the Publication section for a comprehensive report on the Italian pellet market.