Prices at Mont Belvieu, Texas, a major hub for NGL fractionation and trading, located on the U.S. Gulf Coast outside of Houston, were around 97 cents per gallon at the time of writing. These prices have nearly tripled since the virus pandemic lows.
Some factors that have resulted in increasingly propane demand are health officials' policies during the pandemic that forced restaurant patrons to eat outside last fall. Restaurant owners scrambled to purchase portable propane heaters to keep guests warm. Then February's deep freeze increased demand even further, leading to lower inventories ahead of summer.
Further, there's been a significant drawdown on domestic inventories, which are down 17% versus a year ago and approximately 15% below the five-year average.