12 December 2013 17:11 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--November propane demand in the US reached a record high for that month because farmers needed to dry a large corn harvest, an agency said on Thursday.
Corn production is expected to reach a record 14.9m bushels during the 2013-2014 harvest, said the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), which quoted the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Corn must be dried to a moisture content of 15% before it can be stored to avoid mold and other problems that can reduce the quality of the grain, the EIA said.
Farmers use propane to dry their corn, the EIA said. Record corn yields and a wet growing season have caused propane demand to increase substantially.
In fact, seven Midwest states have declared states of emergency to allow propane to be delivered, the EIA said. Propane inventories in the district that includes the Midwest have fallen to their lowest levels since 1996.
So far, US propane consumption has already reached levels not seen until January and February, the peak of the nation's heating season, the EIA said. For the week ending 1 November, US consumption reached nearly 1.8m bbl/day.
While the US meets propane demand from farmers, it is also exporting more of the fuel to foreign countries.
Current propane exports are at 288,000 bbl/day, not far from the record of 308,000 bbl/day set in May 2013, the EIA said.
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