(Bloomberg) -- U.S. propane demand stayed near to a record last week as wintry weather blasted through much of the country and as use of the fuel in plastic production continues to rise.

The wintry weather sweeping across the northeast add to a long-term trend of rising propane use in the U.S. Demand has increased steadily over the last several years with the addition of propane dehydrogenation plants on the U.S. Gulf Coast, which turn propane into propylene, a building block for plastic.

The energy department’s estimate of propane and propylene product supplied -- a proxy for demand -- dipped slightly from a record to 2.19 million barrels a day in the week ended Jan. 21. The rolling four-week average, a smoother measure of demand, gained to a record 1.94 million barrels a day.

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Propane, along with other natural gas liquids such as butane and ethane, is becoming increasingly important to the market as the transportation sector becomes more electrified.  


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