US Propane: C3 producers, wholesalers watch persistent surpluses on US Gulf Coast

Dan Lippe Petral Consulting Co. Houston The most important concern for US propane producers and wholesalers going into any winter heating season—and the 2012-13 season was no exception—is the uncertain answer to two questions: 1. Will winter be cold enough to boost space-heating demand to normal levels? 2. Will we be able to sell production and accumulated inventory? At the beginning of winter 2012, the inventory surplus and continued growth in gas plant propane supply aggravated these concerns. Producers and wholesalers know there are only three ways to liquidate surplus inventory: Hope for colder winter and more space-heating demand in retail markets, more ethylene feedstock demand, an...

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