Propane spot prices hold steady: Delivery fees similar to 2015

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Editor’s Note: We’ll continue to profile propane company representatives and company policies in subsequent editions as well as updating pricing from companies willing to provide that information.

In our Nov. 24 edition we reviewed propane spot prices nationally and regionally, and suggested to readers that it might be to the customer’s advantage to check information other than price per gallon (ppg) before choosing or changing their propane supplier.

This week, refinery point-of-production “spot” prices have not fluctuated much from two weeks ago. Previously the Mt. Belvieu, Texas spot price was $0.553 per gallon. This week it is $0.543, down slightly. A year ago, same date, it was $0.443.

This week, the national propane per-gallon delivery prices also are down slightly. In the western region, the price this week is $1.762, down from $2.076 two weeks ago. A year ago, the ppg was actually higher than this week — $1.919.

Propane-delivered ppg is forecast to be slightly higher than last year, which saw historically low prices. But with prices holding steady over the last two weeks, the forecast looks good for the season to come.

Amerigas continues to maintain its community pricing at $1.99 per gallon. Tank rental also remains the same at $40 annually. First fill is $1.29 a gallon. According to spokesperson Liz Martin, there is no ppg discount for an owner’s tank. Martin noted the company had added an additional propane delivery truck to better serve Idyllwild. “Our community pricing at $1.99 is the same price for everyone,” said Martin.

SoCal is still at $2.42 ppg and $2.12 for an owner’s tank fill. CEO Andrew Kotyuk said response from Crier readers to the 10-cent-per-gallon discount for veterans and for referrals has been strong. The 10-cent discount per vets is permanent. The referral discount is for the season, both for the party referred and the party making the referral.

Harry Javaherian at Diamond Valley sees no major changes from last year. “The refineries set the prices and when it’s colder prices go up,” he said. Javaherian offers no “first fill” specials. “That’s just bait and switch,” he noted. Diamond Valley ppg is now $2.09, or $1.84 for an owner’s tank. “I cut into my margin a bit to lower our price per gallon,” said Javaherian. Tank rental is $50 annually. But if a customer signs up for three years, tank rental is $30 annually — $90 for three years as opposed to $150. Javaherian said the three-year deal is because it’s become difficult to collect tank rental from customers.

Dave Castaldo, AC Propane, said he’d have a better handle on how pricing may fluctuate over the season in about a week. For now, his ppg is $2.39 and less for an owner’s tank, depending on volume ordered. “It could be as low as $1.99 for owner tank based on volume ordered,” he said. Tank rental is $59 per year with first year and tank set free.

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