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U.S. Propane Inventories Plunge 3.8 MMbbl

U.S. propane stocks fell a hefty 3.8 MMbbl the week ended Jan. 10, according to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Jan. 15 “This Week in Petroleum” report. The significant draw placed the nation’s inventories at 38.7 MMbbl, a startling 25.3 MMbbl, or 39.6%, lower than last year at this time. And there are at least two more months of winter to go. Gulf Coast regional supplies dropped 1.9 MMbbl and Midwest volumes lost 1.5 MMbbl. Rocky Mountain/West Coast stocks decreased 0.2 MMbbl, and East Coast inventories gave up 0.1 MMbbl. Propylene non-fuel-use stocks represented 9.1% of total propane inventories, up from 8.5% the previous week.

U.S. propane production dipped minimally week over week to 1.420 MMbbld, but stood nearly 0.13 MMbbld higher than a year ago. East Coast production was at 0.131 MMbbld, the Midwest 0.254 MMbbld, and the Gulf Coast at 0.846 MMbbld. All three regions posted marginal declines compared to a week earlier, while for the year the East Coast was slightly higher and the Midwest and Gulf Coast dipped.

Imports to the nation were at 0.146 MMbbld, rising slightly from the prior week and last year. The East Coast received 0.051 MMbbld and the Midwest 0.064 MMbbld. U.S. propane demand reached 1.736 MMbbld, stretching out a little from a week earlier and standing nearly 0.2 MMbbld higher than last year.

The average U.S. residential propane price for the week ended Jan. 13 was 284.3 cents/gal., according to EIA, up 1.4 cents from the previous week and 57.5 cents higher than during the comparable reporting period last year. The New England average was 349.5 cents; Central Atlantic, 342.2 cents; Lower Atlantic 322.9 cents; and Midwest, 239.6 cents. EIA reported the average U.S. wholesale propane price for the week at 170.8 cents/gal., up 2.2 cents from a week earlier.