Northwest Iowa — Despite the brutally cold weather in northwest Iowa recently and a corresponding sharp increase in demand from farmers and homeowners, propane prices are -not- bounding in Iowa, according to Paul Ovrom, an ag marketer at the Iowa Department of Agriculture.
While two pennies a gallon is a very small rise, he says it’s typical to see price spikes during the wintertime.
Propane prices are up substantially from a year ago, about 27-percent higher. Ovrom says several factors may be coming into play. Ovrum says propane prices often bounce between October and March as that’s when much of the product is exported to nations like China.
Even with the cold weather, he does not expect the record demand Iowa saw in 2013 when then-Governor Terry Branstad declared an energy emergency as propane prices averaged as high as $4.71 a gallon.
We did a quick check of some propane prices around northwest Iowa. Most retailers remind folks that they offer a volume discount so sometimes it’s cheaper per gallon the more you buy. A retailer in Sheldon quoted a cash price of $1.67 per gallon. Retailers in Sanborn and Orange City are offering propane for $1.40 per gallon. And in both Rock Rapids and Hull, we were quoted a price of $1.44 per gallon.
According to the US Energy Information Administration, the average price per gallon in Iowa for the week ending January 1st was $1.48 per gallon, which is actually a pretty good price considering that the nationwide average for that same week was $2.52.