Today's Propane Pricing and Supply
Dead River Company would like to take this opportunity to explain what is happening with today’s propane supply and prices and to provide reassurance that we have a sufficient supply of propane to fulfill our customers’ needs.
We understand that this winter has been challenging so far. We want to reassure you that while other companies may be struggling with their propane inventory levels, Dead River Company has the propane supply needed to fulfill our customers’ needs.
What has caused the shortage?
There are a number of contributing factors influencing temporary regional shortages and current propane prices:
- Late, wet grain and corn harvest: This fall there was a surge in demand due to increased agricultural need in the Midwest, which sent propane use to record levels in November. This demand resulted in January 2014 propane supplies (nationwide) being 23 million barrels lower than the year before.
- Transportation: During November and December, a major pipeline which services the Midwest and Eastern regions stopped transporting propane. The alternatives like rail cars and transport trucks were in limited supply. The combination has resulted in delays in propane transportation.
- Exporting of propane: Because of the abundance of domestically produced propane, and US prices being below international propane prices, the US has been exporting propane overseas – resulting in depleted US inventories.
- New England imports: Fortunately, New England has the infrastructure to import cargo ships of propane. These imports have kept New England adequately supplied, but the higher priced propane from overseas has put additional upward pressure on prices.
- Historically low temperatures: This winter has been considerably harsh due to the challenging ice and snowstorms and the ‘Polar Vortex,’ which brought bitterly cold temperatures to the region and much of the country. The result of the coldest air the region has seen in 20 years has led to a 30% increase in demand, which strained our delivery capacity despite delivering 7 days a week and drivers working 75 plus hours each week.
Although we cannot predict where fuel prices will be in the future, market indicators show that the current propane price spike is temporary and propane prices should begin to level off towards spring.
We thank you for your continued business and loyalty. If you have any questions, or we can be of assistance, please contact us.