The hypothetical Mont Belvieu, Texas, NGL barrel cracked $30 for only the third time this year and the first time in seven months as the propane-fueled rally reached its 11th week.

Propane’s price of 87.66 cents per gallon (gal) at Mont Belvieu set a high for the year and was the highest in almost three years, dating back to early November 2014. The Conway, Kan., price of 84.6 cents/gal was also a 2017 high and the first time that hub’s propane had broached 80 cents/gal in 35 months.

Ethane, hit hard when Hurricane Harvey knocked out a large chunk of U.S. polyethylene production, continued to recover and was nearly back to pre-storm levels at Mont Belvieu. The margin increased by almost 30% at Mont Belvieu, a reflection of the speed at which the Gulf Coast is recovering from Harvey. At Conway, the ethane margin was still in the negative.

“Although some are running at reduced rates, the majority of Houston-area petrochemical complexes have now returned back to production,” The Plastics Exchange reported this week.

Crude prices are also recovering from hurricanes Harvey and Irma. En*Vantage surmised that markets overreacted in a bearish way to the weather events. The analysts note that OPEC has also cut production and exports, and Venezuela faces critical debt repayments in October, both deemed as bullish signs for global crude.

Propane, up 4.4% in the past week at Mont Belvieu and 6.2% at Conway, has jumped  52.5% at Mont Belvieu and 55.5% since it began its long rise in late June. En*Vantage attributes the rise to propane’s inventory being 20% below where it was at this time last year, coupled with concerns over whether supply will be sufficient to cover export demands. The analysts believe this spike was inevitable even without the storm’s impact, but Mont Belvieu’s recovery from damage to brine ponds adds uncertainty to the market.

Storage of natural gas in the Lower 48 increased by 97 billion cubic feet (Bcf) in the week ended Sept. 15, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported, above the Bloomberg consensus of 93 Bcf and the 2016 increase of 54 Bcf. It is also above the five-year average of 73 Bcf and resulted in a total of 3.408 Tcf. The figure is 3.8% below the 3.544 Tcf figure at the same time in 2016 and 2% above the five-year average of 3.341 Tcf.

Joseph Markman can be reached at and @JHMarkman.