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US propane prices fall from multiyear highs

February 14, 2022 By    

A mild start to this winter’s heating season caused U.S. propane prices to decline from their highest starting price level for a heating season since 2014, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports.

The wholesale propane price at the U.S. benchmark at Mont Belvieu, Texas, reached $1.51 per gallon on Oct. 5, 2021, and has since declined to $1.30 a gallon as of Jan. 31.

Chart: U.S. Energy Information Administration

Chart: U.S. Energy Information Administration (Click to enlarge)

During October 2021, the wholesale propane price at Mont Belvieu was the highest since February 2014. Propane prices have fallen since October 2021 because warmer-than-normal weather in October through December resulted in less propane consumption for space heating in the residential and commercial sectors, EIA says.

Trends in international markets have also influenced U.S. propane exports and wholesale propane prices, the administration notes. During the first 11 months of 2021, U.S. propane exports averaged 1.3 million barrels per day, the highest export level for the first 11 months of any year since 2004, when EIA began tracking propane exports.

Global demand for propane has risen because of its increased use as a petrochemical feedstock. Propane can be processed into various plastic and resin products. Global demand for U.S. propane has remained steady despite higher U.S. prices because international prices for propane and other feedstocks have also increased, according to EIA.

About the Author:

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

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