05-08-2017

Iran's July LPG shipments surge to year-to-date high of 381,500 mt

lpg

Iran's LPG shipments jumped to a year-to-date high of 381,500 mt in July, up 39% from around 274,000 mt in June and surpassing the previous high of 360,000 mt in January, shipping and trade sources said this week.

The country's LPG shipments over January-July totaled about 1.94 million mt, of which 968,000 mt was sent to China and a number of cargoes to Indonesia, shipping fixtures showed.

The shipments to Indonesia follow an agreement signed in May last year between Indonesian state-owned Pertamina and National Iranian Oil Co. for a total 600,000 mt of LPG to be delivered in 14 cargoes over 2016-17.

Under that contract, Pertamina received its first 44,000 mt evenly split LPG cargo from Iran aboard the Very Large Gas Carrier Pertamina Gas-2 last October.

After that, shipping fixtures show that Pertamina received a cargo in November on the VLGC Pertamina Gas-1, in December on the VLGC Gas Courage, late-January/early February on the Pertamina Gas-1, March on the Pertamina Gas-2 and in May on the Sea Dolphin.

All the shipments were loaded from the Iranian port of Assaluyeh.

Pertamina received its latest cargoes in June and July. The VLGC Pertamina-Gas 1 carried a 44,000 mt cargo from NIOC in June, according to S&P Global Platts' vessel tracking tool, cFlow.

Pertamina Gas 1 is currently at Indonesia's Kalibut, Situbondo port after arriving from Assaluyeh on July 1, cFlow showed.

The 50,500 dwt Pertamina Gas-2 is currently off Assaluyeh since arriving on July 29 to load a cargo from Iranian Gas Commercial Co., or IGCC, according to cFlow and shipping sources.

The IGCC cargo was the first to be shipped to Indonesia that was not taken from NIOC, shipping fixtures show.


CHINA PDH PLANT


Other active lifters of Iranian LPG this year are Oriental Energy, which operates two propane dehydrogenation plants in China, according to shipping sources and fixtures.

Oriental Energy's latest lifting from Assaluyeh is a 44,000 mt cargo taken from the Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industry Commercial Co., or PGPICC, aboard the 54,450 dwt Pacific Rizhao. The VLGC is currently off Hainan Island in the South China Sea, according to cFlow.

Oriental Energy, via Caspian Petrochemical, also lifted a 44,000 mt cargo from PGPICC aboard the Gas Commerce in July, shipping fixtures show. The 49,609 dwt vessel is now off Khor Fakkan in the UAE, cFlow shows.

Since taking its first Iranian cargo in May last year, Oriental Energy has been a regular lifter of LPG from Iran, having taken about 308,000 mt in seven cargoes between January and July, shipping fixtures showed.

Prior to that, under a contract signed in October 2013, Oriental Energy had agreed to buy from independent trading house Mabanaft two cargoes per month of US propane, totaling at least 1.045 million barrels, to be loaded between January 2017 and December 2022 from the Houston Ship Channel.

However, a lawsuit filed in the US last November alleged Oriental Energy China and Oriental Energy Singapore failed to provide Mabanaft with a letter of credit ahead of the first US shipment due in January, resulting in a breach of contract.


THAI TRADER


Other active buyers of LPG from Iran include Thai LPG trader Siam Gas, which has a terminal in China's southern Shantou province. To date this year, Siam Gas has taken about 352,000 mt of LPG in eight cargoes from Iran.

Siam Gas took three cargoes loaded in May, one in June and two in July, the fixtures showed. The July liftings were abroad the VLGCs Ming Ming and Ming De.

Ming Ming departed Assaluyeh on July 26 with an evenly split LPG cargo from IGCC and is due to arrive at Zhuhai on August 11, cFlow shows.

Ming De left Assaluyeh on July 28, also with an IGCC cargo comprising 33,000 mt propane and 11,000 butane, and is now off southwest India, cFlow shows.

Other July liftings included Caspian Petrochemical's cargo from IGCC aboard the Sea Dragon, Petredec's cargo from PGPICC aboard the BW Odin, Glencore's 10,000 mt cargo from Kharg Petrochemical Co., Global Reality's cargo from PGPICC aboard the Gas Jasmine, Prime Energy's 4,500 mt lot aboard Everrich 6 and Glencore's 15,000 mt parcel aboard Sea Speed.

Among the trading firms lifting Iranian cargoes this year are Triliance Petrochemical Co., Jovo Energy, Arab Maritime Petroleum Transport Co. and Sinochem, shipping fixtures show.

Trade sources said the availability of Iranian cargoes helps to fill any gaps in Asia whenever term cargoes from the US are canceled due to poor economics and a lack of spot cargoes from other Middle Eastern producers emerges in the region.

Source: Platts 

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