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Hike In Spot Market Loads To Stabilize

Midwest Corn Harvest Drives Up Propane Prices

Miller Oil co-owner Matt Miller told the Northern Plains Independent that spot market propane prices in Culbertson have gone up by approximately 40 cents per gallon between the end of October and the Thanksgiving holiday. He said propane marketers have blamed cold and wet conditions and a late corn harvest in the Midwest for the price hikes.

Miller said the hike is a reflection of transportation and distribution problems down the line.

“I know it’s there,” said Miller. “But we’re not getting it.”

He said marketers have kept the company supplied, but it’s been a challenge.

Miller said he contacted members of Montana’s congressional delegation recently when shipments seemed to be stalled.

“I reached out to all three of them,” he said.

Despite the spike, Miller sees no reason for alarm, speculating that prices will level off at current rates for the remainder of the season. He said prices may not come down in the short term, but should level off for the rest of the year.

“There’s still a high demand for heat,” said Miller, “but it shouldn’t go much higher.”

Miller added that propane marketers have continued to honor forward contracts.

Agland Co-op energy sales manager Jason Eggebrecht said points of sale in the Wolf Point area are experiencing similar transportation-related price hikes.

“This last month leveled off higher than expected,” said Eggebrecht.

He also speculated a slowdown in rising prices.

“Unless the weather turns unexpectedly cold, prices should level off for now,” Eggebrecht said.

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