Is There a Propane Shortage?
Every summer my propane supplier stops by the farm and fills my propane tank for corn drying. He used to call and ask if I wanted my tank filled during their "Summer Fill" program. I told him a few years ago don't waste your time calling me, just do it every summer. I got the statement in the mail and was quite surprised at what the propane cost. Last fall propane was 60-70 cents a gallon. This summer it was around $1 a gallon!
Last fall I was hearing there was a surplus of propane and natural gas. So what happened? Why are propane prices so much higher this year? I talked with Dennis St. Aubin, Marketing, Energy Equipment and West Region Propane Sales for CHS. Dennis said there is not a problem with producing propane. The United States is producing a lot of propane. Propane supplies are not building as much this summer as normal because we are exporting a lot of propane.
Propane is in a world market now. That means we have to compete with foreign buyers who want to import propane. We have to pay a high enough price to keep it here. Dennis's advice is to make sure you talk with your propane supplier and get your tank topped off. Also, let them know how much propane you may need for corn drying and during the winter heating season. Most suppliers have a program where you can pay a percentage of the propane you anticipate you will need and lock in the price. That might be a good idea.