Iowa official says propane prices dropping

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Iowans may finally be getting some relief from soaring propane prices.

The U.S. Department of Transportation, as well as governors in about half of the U.S., issued emergency waivers and declarations in January after a propane shortage forced some families to ration use, and pushed prices to around $5 per gallon.

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn were among those trying to seek relief for propane users in their states.

A harsher-than-normal winter was one of several factors blamed for driving up demand for propane.

Related:  Quad Cities propane shortage sparks higher prices

A market analyst for the Iowa Department of Agriculture says propane prices dropped in early February.

In a statement issued Wednesday, February 5, 2014, Harold Hommes said propane prices fell 27-cents from the week before, bringing the statewide average price for a gallon propane in Iowa to $3.51.

The Iowa Dept. of Agriculture reported the statewide average price for a gallon of propane in October was just over $1.52 per gallon.  Prices closed at $1.88 per gallon by mid-December and jumped to a statewide average of more than $4 per gallon in late January.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported propane prices were hovering near record highs in late January.

Hommes called the January spike “unprecedented,” as prices climbed rapidly at that time.  He said the price increase in Iowa slowed significantly, and propane averaged about $3.78 per gallon in Iowa just before February 1.