Add propane to the list of materials that may be in high demand, leading to rising prices later this year. In the U.S., summer propane prices are already above $1 for the first time since 2014.
According to The Wall Street Journal, propane has rarely been so expensive at this time of year, when demand is low relative to the colder months of winter. Increased usage due to outdoor heating during the pandemic, plus overseas demand has led to the price increase, which will only get worse once the weather turns colder.
Compounding the situation, inventories are slightly lower than normal, while exports are above average, according to Bloomberg. The increased price may seem especially painful after extremely low pricing in 2020. The fall is normally a good time to save money on propane purchases because demand is low. Not so this year.
These increased prices have implications for household and industrial use alike. Many food processors depend on propane as a heat source for equipment like spray dryers.
Most burners can be dual-fuel, allowing for the use of natural gas or propane depending on availability. Propane has a slightly lower heat value, meaning that you need to use a bit more of it to reach the same temperature as you would with natural gas.
In some areas of the country, natural gas supplies can be shut off temporarily by the local utility in order to meet overall demand. In cases like this, food processors usually have propane on-hand so they can switch over when the need arises.
Avoiding propane use during the price increase may not be possible, but processors can use this as an opportunity to review their overall energy sustainability. Caloris engineers can assist with a review of your processing equipment’s energy use and suggest modifications for energy savings.
Contact Caloris today by calling 410-822-6900 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to speak with an engineer about energy sustainability.