2022-23 winter propane consumption lowest since at least 2010

June 5, 2023 By    

Many propane industry members described the 2022-23 winter as mild. Now the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has the data to prove it.

EIA estimates that U.S. propane consumption averaged 0.986 million barrels per day (bpd) during this past winter heating season, the least for a winter heating season on record, starting in 2010. Reduced average winter U.S. propane consumption was influenced by less consumption during the coldest winter months of December, January and February, according to EIA.

The lower propane consumption is primarily the result of warmer-than-normal temperatures during the winter, as mild temperatures reduced consumption in the U.S. residential and commercial sectors.

The lower propane demand last winter also reduced U.S. propane prices compared with the previous winter. Wholesale propane prices at the U.S. benchmark location of Mont Belvieu, Texas, averaged 81 cents a gallon during the 2022-23 winter heating season, compared with an average of $1.28 a gallon during the previous winter.

Propane inventories reflect supply and demand balances as well as prices. For the week ending Oct. 7, 2022, the first week of the 2022-23 winter heating season, EIA reported U.S. propane inventories at 85.5 million barrels, 13.2 million barrels more than the same week in the previous winter. At the end of the winter heating season, for the week ending March 31, 2023, propane inventories were at 55.7 million barrels, 22.0 million barrels more than at the end of the previous winter heating season. U.S. propane inventories continued to grow during April, totaling 58.3 million barrels as of April 28.

Lower demand and prices for propane in the U.S. last winter caused U.S. propane prices to fall below benchmark hubs in northwest Europe and east Asia. The price difference supported the most U.S. propane exports on record during a winter heating season.

About the Author:

Brian Richesson is the editor in chief of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at brichesson@northcoastmedia.net or 216-706-3748.

Comments are currently closed.