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Propane Prices Surge

Copyright © 2021 Energy Intelligence Group

North America’s propane market is tightening dramatically just ahead of an anticipated seasonal spike in regional demand. According to the US Energy Information Administration, inventories of propane are currently at 66.8 million bbl, down 22.5 million bbl from the same time last year. Canadian stocks are also unusually low. There are colliding factors informing the tightness: upstream caution and discipline juxtaposed with exports going gangbusters. The result is soaring prices -- in Edmonton, Canada, propane is spiking at roughly four times last year’s level just south of $1/gallon, while prices at Conway, Kansas and Mont Belvieu, Texas are well over $1/gallon. Costs could continue to rise as the US is set to enter crop drying season and North America enters heating season shortly thereafter. Propane is a crucial fuel for both. For the tightness in the US propane market, “the culprit, of course, is exports,” noted RBN’s Housley Carr in a recent research note.

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