Heavy crop this past fall and a demanding heating season this winter have left some wondering if there is a propane gas shortage. But is this current situation a real shortage or a distribution problem?
In many areas of the Midwest, prices have spiked to $4 per gallon or more.
Iowa turkey farmer Katie Olthoff called her supplier early last week for delivery for their shop and home. "The lady on the phone quoted us a price of $2.55 per gallon but suggested we wait as they were experiencing a peak in prices," says Olthoff. "We went ahead and were glad we did – 48 hours later they were quoting prices of $4.80 per gallon."
Suppliers are reducing delivery amounts per customer to stretch thin inventories by limiting percent fill on tanks or reducing gallons per delivery. This can include customers on contract.
The situation can vary area to area as well as supplier to supplier. Check with your local provider now to gain an understanding of how the situation will affect you.
Currently in central Indiana, LP providers are saying that they are having to drive a little farther than normal to get inventory but it is still available. While supply is available, the logistics of getting it where it needs to be at this point aren't keeping up.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has relaxed regulations on the transport of LP to improve timelines on deliveries and make more product available to consumers. Indiana Department of Transportation trucks that normally run on LP will now be running on diesel fuel until March 25 of this year.
Last week Indiana Farm Bureau encouraged all grain farmers to check their supplies and if they had extra propane to please check with neighboring livestock farms to be sure they were getting adequate supply to heat barns. If the propane was not needed in the immediate area they were encouraged to contact local suppliers about selling back the gas to return it into the supply chain.