Propane Inventories Post Small Weekly Gain

Strong overseas demand and a cold spring mean the seasonal build of propane inventories is lagging behind the levels of last year. (image:

National propane inventories have posted a slight build but remain below typical seasonal levels.

After posting their first fall in 20 weeks, national propane stocks continued to build in the last week.

Figures released yesterday by the Energy Information Administration show propane reserves gained 600,000 barrels in the week to September 16. That brought total US inventories to 55.4 million barrels – the equivalent of 60 days’ supply at current usage.

In contrast, there were 63.7 million barrels in storage at the same time last year – the equivalent of 66.8 days’ supply at last year’s consumption rates.

Propane stocks have been rising steadily through spring and summer – which is the traditional off season for American heating fuels. And although propane stocks have risen for 21 of the last 22 weeks, the EIA said reserve stocks had still not kept pace with last year’s, largely due to strong overseas demand for propane gas.

Domestic inventories posted their first decrease in over five months earlier this month, signaling the likely return of cooler weather and onset of heavier winter demand.

Last week’s modest inventory build was led by the Gulf Coast and Midwest regions, which each posted 200,000 barrel increase. The East Coast and Rocky Mountain/West Coast regions both added around 100,000 barrels.

Propylene non-fuel use inventories represented 5.5 percent of total propane inventories in the last week, EIA figures show.

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