Sales, response still down

March 1, 2007 By    

For the third consecutive year, total domestic propane sales for combined residential, commercial, engine, farm and industrial uses has fallen.

Patrick Hyland
Patrick Hyland

The American Petroleum Institute reports that nationwide retail sales of propane – excluding chemical use – in 2005 was 10.4 billion gallons, a 6.2 percent falloff from 2004 sales.

Blame warm winter weather, dry harvest seasons, improved energy efficiencies and high propane prices for blighting performance.

In fact, the only states to see even modest growth in sales from 2004 to 2005 were Alaska, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.

Here are the top 10 retail performances by state for 2005:

1. Michigan (870.6 million gallons, up 3.1% from 2004)

2. Texas (615.1 million, up 11.1%)

3. California (573.9 million, down 2.6%)

4. North Carolina (566.7 million, down 3.5%)

5. Wisconsin (440.7 million, down 6.0%)

6. Minnesota (425.1 million, down 10.1%)

7. Missouri (419.6 million, down 15.4%)

8. Iowa (409.1 million, down 3.1%)

9. Illinois (382.1 million, down 6.3%)

10. Ohio (351.1 million, down 4.7%)

The annual API survey serves as our industry’s basic benchmark for overall propane sales. It also is our primary source of data on market-specific consumption – a vital tool for measuring nationwide and regional sales trends in segments where the industry is investing substantial research, product development, training and marketing dollars.

That’s why the Propane Education & Research Council has spent significant time and resources working with API to improve the survey the last three years.

Unlike other industries whose sales data is required by the government, however, the propane industry reports its sales numbers voluntarily. With just 58 percent of all U.S. marketers responding to the 2005 survey (a slight increase in participation over previous years, believe it or not), API is forced to make statistical calculations to account for the no-shows.

The API survey on 2006 propane sales is being mailed this month to all active marketers. Please take the time to fill it out so our industry can accurately gauge its past performance and best plot its future.

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