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Propane

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发表于 11-3-2021 09:21:43 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
本帖最后由 choi 于 11-3-2021 12:04 编辑

Ryan Dezember, Prepare for Propane Sticker Shock. Wall Street Journal, Oct 26, 2021, at page B11 (under the heading "Commodities").
https://www.wsj.com/articles/pre ... r-shock-11635026109

Note:
(a)
(i) German-English dictionary:
* Dezember (noun masculine; obsolete: December; from Latin [noun masculien and adjective masculine] December (of) the tenth month, from [numeral; indeclinable] decem ten [+ -ber from -bris, an adjectival suffix]): "December"
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Dezember
(A) Latin for tenth is noun feminine decima.
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/decima
(B) The German consonant "z" is pronounced this way:
"Zeit (TSITE), like ts in 'cats'; never like an English soft z (as in 'zoo')"
Michael Schmitz, German for Beginners: Pronunciation and Alphabet. ThoughtCo, updated February 21, 2020.
https://www.thoughtco.com/pronunciation-and-alphabet-4076770
• German-English dictionary:
* Zeit (noun feminine): "time"
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Zeit

• The symbol -- TSITE -- after Zeit above tell an English speaker how to pronounce consonant z in German. That is all.
• The next posting will deal with German spelling and pronunciation.
(ii) decline (vt): "(in the grammar of Latin, Greek, and certain other languages) state the forms of (a noun, pronoun, or adjective) corresponding to cases, number, and gender   <Lyly declined English nouns as if they were Latin>"
https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/decline
(b) 5 Differences Between Natural Gas and Propane. Griffith Energy Services, Inc (a small company in Maryland since 1898, whose revenue is <$5m), Dec 30, 2017.
https://www.griffithenergyservic ... natural-gas-propane
(c) "The average residential price tracked by the US Energy Information Administration[, US Department of Energy,] has jumped by 50%"

(d) Propane "is consumed in huge quantities to make polypropylene, a plastic. * * * Factories in China that turn propane into propylene -- first stop on its way to becoming takeout containers -- were too complex to shut down."
(i) Propene is the same as propylene: the former is the official IUPAC name and the latter a common name (from propyl + -ene). The e in propene is pronounced either a long or a short vowel of i.
(ii) polypropylene
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polypropylene
(section 3 Production)
, with acronym PP and number 5. See resin identification code
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resin_identification_code   
(section 2 Resin identification code)
(iii) Most plastic cups or containers are made of 1 PET (PETE), 5 PP, or 6 PS (polystyrene or styrofoam).

(e) "Under the agency's [EIA's] expected scenario [for this coming winter], buyers could pay 54% more than the past few years. That increase equates to an extra $1,600 in the South"

The verb equate has two phrases:
(i) In the first (equate A with B), equate is a transitive verb: An example in Lexico.com is <customers equate their name with quality>, whereas one in Merriam-webster.com is <equates disagreement with disloyalty>.
(ii) In the first (equate to), equate is an intransitive verb:

equate to sth: "to be the same in amount, number, or size  <The price of such goods in those days equates to about $50 at current prices>"
https://dictionary.cambridge.org ... glish/equate-to-sth


----------------------------WSJ text
Propane prices haven’t been so high heading into winter in a decade, which is bad news for the millions of rural Americans who rely on the fuel to stay warm.

At $1.41 a gallon at the Mont Belvieu trading hub in Texas, on-the-spot prices are about triple those of the past two Octobers. Of the two main U.S. propane futures contracts, one hit a high earlier this month and the other doesn’t have far to climb to eclipse the record it set during the blizzard of 2014. The average residential price tracked by the U.S. Energy Information Administration has jumped by 50% from a year ago, to $2.69 a gallon.

All manner of heating fuels are heading into winter at their highest prices in years and could climb more if the weather is cold. But propane is expected to take the biggest bite out of household budgets.

Most U.S. households and businesses are heated with natural gas or electricity, highly regulated markets in which consumers are insulated from price swings in the commodities and usually given time to catch up on payments before they go cold.

Buying propane is more like filling up a car. The fuel is paid for upon receipt and priced in the free market. Residential propane is delivered by truck, often by small firms over big swaths of countryside. Domestic inventories have been so drained by exports that it isn’t out of the question that some could be left for periods without propane no matter what they are able to pay.

“You have no alternative for heat,” said Robert Stier, lead petrochemicals analyst at S&P Global Platts. “Your options: Turn down the thermostat, put on a sweater or burn wood in a fireplace.”

About 5% of American households are heated with propane. Outside of residential uses, propane fuels forklifts, heats hotel pools and is consumed in huge quantities to make polypropylene, a plastic.

Overseas demand defied economic lockdowns. People stopped flying and drying, yet the bottled fuel kept cooking and heating their homes. Factories in China that turn propane into propylene -- first stop on its way to becoming takeout containers -- were too complex to shut down. Back home, patios and outdoor diners were warmed with propane like never before.

In September 2020, US inventories hit a record. A little more than a year later, with production fairly flat, stockpiles have fallen 19% below what is typical this time of year.

Normally, traders spend summer socking away propane to sell in winter, when the futures market shows higher prices.

Export markets this year kept prices for prompt deliveries higher than those in winter, said Mr Stier, who is a former trader.

The last time prices were so high heading into heating season  was 2011. The winter wound up being one of the earnest in record amd prices fell before autumn ended.

Even if this winter is 10% warmer than forecast, those who heat their homes with propane should expect a 29% bump, on average, the Energy Information Administration said this month.

Under the agency’s expected scenario, buyers could pay 54% more than the past few years. That increase equates to an extra $1,600 in the South, about $1,800 in the Midwest and $2,000 in the Northeast. If it is 10% colder than forecast, bills could nearly double, the agency said.

Recently 36 U.S. senators asked the Biden administration to loosen the purse strings of a Health and Human Services Department program that helps the poor with their energy bills.

“This funding will help ensure that low-income families and seniors do not have to make the impossible choice between paying for heat and paying for food or medicine,” said Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, where more than 12% of homes are heated with propane.

Suburban Propane Partners LP, which supplies about one million customers in 41 states, is offering budget payment plans and encouraging early fill-ups to avoid potential price spikes and availability issues, said Chief Executive Michael Stivala.

Customers haven’t rushed to buy yet, which might be because of broader inflation, Mr. Stivala said.

“Everything they’re buying is at an elevated level,” he said. “People might not have the ability to allocate more now for the heating season.”
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