National Propane Price Trend: +2 Cents… and the Last Hurrah of the Heating Season?

It's a butterfly effect on oil: A colonel in Libya shakes his fist, and 4,500 miles away the oil markets tremble. (image:

Judging by the early indications, it looked like retail propane prices would be rising this week. On Monday, prices were up almost a dime in Maine. And the aftershocks from both Libya and the recent spike in wholesale propane prices looked like they would be rumbling through the retail side. Now that the Energy Information Administration has put out its weekly report, the average retail price increased nationwide, but nothing too dramatic.

Retail propane prices were up two cents a gallon on Monday, according to the EIA. That amounted to a new record high, in a winter full of new record highs. Though the East Coast got hit worst, with a four-cent average increase. In the Midwest, LPG was up a half-penny.

Our two cents? This should be propane’s last hurrah for the heating season, as a couple pricing pressures ease up. The average gallon price for wholesale propane had dropped more than 23 cents by Monday, giving up most of last week’s big gain. Then consider that temperatures will be in the 50s from Denver to Des Moines to Delaware in the coming days, and demand for propane should be declining, too.

So in short, if we had a propane tank to fill, we’d stall on the delivery as long as we could. Prices should start to dip soon.

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