National Price Check: +2 Cents and a New Record High

Everything is bigger in Texas. Including the trading prices for propane at the hub in Mont Belvieu. (image: Dave Huss via flickr.com)

Retail propane prices have gone up for the fourteenth week in a row, according to the numbers the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released this afternoon. The price of a gallon climbed two cents last week, to hit a new record high for residential propane.

Increases were consistent in the Midwest, the East Coast and the South. Though in general, retail prices are lower in the Midwest than the East Coast due to better access to the national propane supply.

On average, wholesale prices went up a half-cent last week, after a tiny decline the week before. The disparity between wholesale and retail prices is largely due to the delay in retailers’ passing on their additional product costs to customers through price increases. Despite the increase, propane prices are generally stable compared with liquid heating fuels like heating oil and kerosene, which jumped nearly 12 cents this week alone.

Why the increase in propane costs? Propane prices have followed the recent rises in crude oil, with the strong demand of the heating season buoying prices, too. But no matter where you live, price increases aren’t welcome, especially with the extreme winter weather that has chilled the nation lately. Let’s hope relief is on the way.

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