Report: Propane prices, household expenditures to be lower this winter

October 23, 2014 By    

Propane prices are expected to be 17 percent lower this winter compared with the winter of 2013-14, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), which has released its annual Short-Term Energy and Winter Fuels Outlook.

In addition, EIA says U.S. households will spend, on average, 27 percent less on propane this winter than they did one year ago – unless a repeat of last winter’s cold weather occurs.

Temperatures are forecast to be much warmer this winter, though. The Northeast, Midwest and South are all expected to be at least 11 percent warmer this winter, according to EIA. The West is expected to be 5 percent warmer than last winter.

U.S. propane inventories are about 12 million barrels higher than they were at the same time one year ago. According to EIA, primary propane stocks in the Gulf Coast and Midwest are at the highest level for any week since at least 1993. In addition, propane production at natural gas liquids plants is projected to be about 12 percent higher than last winter’s.

Still, another record corn crop is expected, EIA says. And propane supply continues to adjust to recent infrastructural changes, such as the reversal of the Cochin Pipeline.

As for competitive winter heating fuels, EIA expects higher prices this winter for homes heating with natural gas and electricity but for U.S. households to spend less, on average, for natural gas, electricity and heating oil. Heating oil prices, like propane prices, are expected to be lower than last winter’s prices.

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