Gasoline prices are already rising in Iowa as part of the fallout from Hurricane Harvey as many Houston-area oil refineries are offline, but analysts still aren’t sure how the still-raging storm may impact propane supplies.
Paul Ovrom, an ag marketer with the Iowa Department of Agriculture, is urging Iowa propane users — businesses, farmers and rural residents — to stock up as the flooding in southeast Texas will persist.
“We don’t really know what that might do to the supply,” Ovrom says. “Right now, all indications are that it’s not going to have a significant effect but there are a lot of unknowns out there, so you want to make sure that your supplies are good going forward.”
Ovrom says propane consumption both domestically and overseas is dropping, but that could change quickly. “Decreased propane consumption is being talked about by petrochemical plants, so there’s not a lot of pressure on propane right now,” Ovrom says. “The storm may impact that, but right now, things are looking good going into the fall season.”
Ovrom says a colder-than-normal autumn with significant rain could also draw down supplies. Farmers would need additional propane to dry their grain and rural residents would likely need more to heat their homes.
(Thanks to Pat Blank, Iowa Public Radio)