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Propane Prices

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Des Moines, IA (RI) — Propane users in Iowa are finally getting a little bit of relief.

¬† After prices at some retailers climbed to nearly $5 a gallon last week,¬†Harold Hommes (HOM-iss), a market analyst at the Iowa Department of Agriculture, says prices have dropped 27-cents this week to a statewide average of $3.51 a gallon. Last month, governors in 24 states issued hours of service waivers for the transport industry, so drivers’ hours are not counted as they wait in line for propane. This week, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued emergency declarations that allow propane tank operators to cross state lines and drive for longer hours to speed propane delivery in states where shortages exist, like Iowa…

A combination of factors is credited for this year’s propane shortage — the shutdown of a key pipeline, below-average supplies on October 1st, higher demand for propane to dry the 2013 harvest and higher demand from homeowners due to frigid temperatures. Hommes says supplies are improving…

About 15-percent of Iowa homes are heated with propane, mainly in rural areas. Hommes expects prices will drop more dramatically once temperatures warm up.

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