Editor’s Note: The Town Crier began this service of reporting propane prices to our readers after many questions regarding how propane companies set their pricing structures and what factors are involved in doing so. We appreciate the cooperation of companies who answer our queries and provide information to our readers.
Scott Brockelmeyer, Ferrellgas vice president of marketing and media relations at corporate headquarters in Overland Park, Kansas, emailed the Town Crier regarding its reporting of propane prices.
“As a representative of Ferrellgas, I’m more than a bit embarrassed by the way we handled your requests for pricing,” wrote Brockelmeyer. “I’m hoping we can wipe the slate clean and start from scratch. A number of people in [your] community turn to us for propane service and, as one of the larger providers in the area, we do wish to share pricing information with them via your periodic articles about propane.”
Brockelmeyer noted that his Idyllwild office had correctly reported his company’s pricing structures after first fill, depending on a number of factors, including membership in one of several homeowner associations and the amount of propane a customer uses annually.
In concluding his email, Brockelmeyer wrote, “Thank you for your attention to this matter, and my apologies again for the difficulties you experienced recently in gathering pricing from Ferrellgas.” He provided his direct number at corporate headquarters for contact purposes.
This leaves only Suburban Propane, of the three national companies, that has not expressed, at corporate headquarter level, a willingness to cooperate in providing propane pricing to our readers. Suburban’s local office had refused further inquiries and directed our calls to its corporate headquarters. But after an initial contact with Pete Teshima, Suburban Propane assistant vice president of marketing, we have been unable to reach him again.
We will be reporting pricing in next week’s edition, something we are doing about every three weeks, since propane prices nationally are not fluctuating dramatically at this point in time.
For purposes of comparison, the spot price at Mt. Belvieu in Texas for the week of March 21 was 46.1 cents per gallon. The previous week it was 45.8 cents. The week prior (March 7) was 47.6 cents. The average national delivery price (including transportation costs and other factors) was $2.014 per gallon for this week, $2.022 last week and $2.020 for the week of March 7.
So, as you can see, prices are holding relatively steady as we shift from winter to spring.
In 2008, propane spot prices in March were more than three times what they are now, averaging $1.45 per gallon up to $1.47 for the four weeks reported. Delivery prices averaged $2.60 through those weeks.