Propane Inventories Continue to Lag

Much of the US is sweltering in hot summer weather, but propane inventories are not making their seasonal build at similar levels to last year. (image: alic3-mochalover.blogspot.com)

US propane inventories have posted another large weekly build but continue to lag behind last year’s levels.

In the last week, domestic propane stocks grew by 1.7 million barrels to 52 million barrels of reserve. That represents 61.1 days’ supply at current demand rates.

In comparison, 12 months ago there were 60.9 million barrels of propane in storage – the equivalent of 79.9 days’ supply.

The figures were released today by the US Energy Information Administration. Officials said propane stocks had now increased for 18 consecutive weeks, adding 25.6 million barrels during that period. However, propane inventories remain 15 percent lower than the same time last year and 13 percent below the five-year average.

Propane inventories usually post significant seasonal builds during spring and summer as the warm weather reduces demand for home heating. But a cold spring and strong overseas demand from countries like India, Nepal and China have cut into domestic propane stocks. A hot summer is also fueling demand for propane to power air conditioning units.

The largest build in the last week occurred in the Midwest region, where inventories rose by 1.6 million barrels of propane gas. The East Coast and Rocky Mountain/West Coast regions each grew by 100,000 barrels, however Gulf Coast regional stocks shrunk last week by 100,000 barrels of propane on heavy unseasonal demand.

Propylene non-fuel use inventories represented 4.4 percent of total propane inventories, the EIA said.

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