Propane Inventories Fall 0.8 MMbbl

U.S. propane stocks fell by 0.8 MMbbl the week ended Jan. 31 to stand at 30.8 MMbbl, 24 MMbbl, or 43.8%, below year-ago levels, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) in its Feb. 5 “This Week in Petroleum” report. Gulf Coast volumes decreased by 1 MMbbl, while conversely Midwest supplies climbed by 0.8 MMbbl. East Coast inventories gave up 0.5 MMbbl, and stocks in the Rocky Mountain/West Coast region dipped by 0.2 MMbbl. Propylene non-fuel-use stocks represented 12.2% of total volumes, up from 11.7% a week earlier.

U.S. propane production for the week stood at 1.406 MMbbld, rising only slightly for the week but posting about a 0.17 MMbbld improvement over last year. East Coast production was at 0.127 MMbbld, the Midwest 0.308 MMbbld, and the Gulf Coast 0.795 MMbbld. While the East Coast and Gulf Coast both slipped minimally week over week, the Midwest rose marginally. For the year, all three regions were somewhat higher.

Imports to the nation were at 0.159 MMbbld for the week, improving slightly for the week and year. The East Coast received 0.076 MMbbld and the Midwest 0.063 MMbbld. U.S. propane demand was at 1.308 MMbbld, off about 0.34 MMbbld from the previous week and down 0.26 MMbbld from last year.

The average U.S. residen­tial propane price for the week ended Feb. 3 was 389.1 cents/gal., according to EIA, 11.9 cents lower than a week prior but 158.5 cents higher than last year at this time. The New England aver­age was reported at 383.4 cents; Central Atlantic, 399.0 cents; Lower Atlantic, 406.0 cents; and Midwest, 382.7 cents. EIA pegged the U.S. wholesale average price for the week at 270.5 cents/gal., down a steep 84.2 cents from a week earlier.