Throughout the 2015/2016 heating season, propane stocks in the Midwest were either above or in the upper third of the 5–year range, which is a very good supply level. Propane stocks in the United States were above the 5–year range throughout the heating season. With most of the propane supply in the Gulf waiting to be exported, the Midwest still had adequate propane supply due to the lowered demand from grain drying.
Heating oil stocks in the Midwest were in the bottom third of the 5–year range during October, but were in the upper third and above the 5–year range by the end of 2015. As of January 2016 and throughout the rest of the heating season, Midwest heating oil stocks were either above or in the upper third of the 5–year range. Although heating oil started the heating season with a low level of supply, heating oil stocks finished the season at good levels.
In Nebraska, even though refineries in planned and unplanned turnarounds created a heavy turnaround season and harvest created very heavy demand for fuels, propane supply and heating oil supply remained good. During harvest, there was very little or no rain to stop the machines but the pipelines still provided an adequate supply of fuel. Weather forecasts called for warmer–than–normal weather, and weather was milder this last heating season. The milder weather was also a key variable.
Lower crude oil prices, warmer temperatures, and an oversupply of distillate fuel were the driving forces leading to lower residential heating oil prices and average household heating oil expenditures this winter. Lower propane prices combined with lower consumption due to mild weather led to lower residential propane prices and lower average household propane expenditures this winter.