Nebraska’s 2010/2011 midseason average was $2.74. The midseason average was $2.87 for the Midwest Region and $3.10 for the nation. From week to week, other states in the Midwest Region have had comparable or higher prices than Nebraska. States near Nebraska, such as Iowa and Minnesota, had midseason averages of $2.77 and $2.90, respectively.
Retail Versus Wholesale--
During the first half of last year’s heating season, Nebraska’s average retail price ranged from $2.15 to $2.40, while the average wholesale price ranged from $1.89 to $2.17. During the first half of this heating season, Nebraska’s average retail price ranged from $2.63 to $2.86, while the average wholesale price ranged from $2.37 to $2.63.
Last season, Nebraska’s
rack-to-retail margin fluctuated between 16 to 39 cents per gallon during the months of October, November, and December. The margin fluctuated between 17 to 32 cents per gallon during the same months this season.
Nebraska's residential propane prices began this heating season 29 cents per gallon higher than the previous season. Prices were higher due to increasing crude oil prices; there wasn't a shortfall in inventory to blame. Inventories started the heating season at a level that was above normal in Nebraska. At the beginning of October, inventories were at 369 thousand barrels, which was a higher level compared to previous years. Throughout October, November, and December, propane prices steadily increased 14 cents and reached $1.72 by the end of December. The average price at the beginning of 2011 was $1.73, which was relatively the same as a year ago.
Average Price in October--
The average price in October is indicative of weather conditions and the winter supply outlook. The average price in Nebraska in October 2010 was $1.61. The average price in October during previous heating seasons is set out below: