The national LP supply is in good shape... just below the five-year average and only slightly below year-ago. But fall demand for grain dryers is bottlenecking that supply and making it hard for delivery drivers to keep up. Minnesota and the Dakotas are all under Hours of Service Waivers which allow delivery drivers to extend the amount of hours they spend on the road each day to service demand in an emergency.
UPDATE 10/28: Montana, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Illinois are now under Hours of Service Waivers as well.
The state of Iowa has joined in with a disaster declaration coming out of Governor Branstad's office just this morning. "NOW, THEREFORE, I, TERRY E. BRANSTAD, Governor of the State of Iowa, by the power and authority vested in me by the Iowa Constitution Art. IV, §§ 1, 8 and Iowa Code § 29C.6(1), and all other applicable laws, do hereby proclaim a State of Disaster Emergency for the entire state of Iowa," wrote the governor.
The news of delivery delays in the northern Belt prompted an Inputs Monitor alert to get out and top off LP for grain dryers immediately. Natural gas supplies are unaffected by the current delivery crisis. Your preferred supplier may already be feeling the LP crunch so the sooner the better.
Trucks are being diverted from other markets to service deliveries, but the holes left in their own hometown delivery fleets will likely cause the problem to spread.
An official from the Minnesota propane industry told your Monitor yesterday that he expects delivery delays to last at least two weeks and for prices to move up to 15 cents higher. The Iowa disaster declaration extends for two weeks and will come to an end on Nov. 7.
Meanwhile, the national weather service is predicting a chance for precipitation to move across the central Belt early next week and near-term wet weather in Wisconsin and Michigan. Dryer fuels will continue to be in high demand at least through the coming week. If you are among the lucky ones and can get LP delivered, fill up aggressively today. If not, get on the list right away as we expect prices to inflate in a hurry.
Click here to view yesterday's alert...