04-06-2018

Flows of US LPG to NWE in H1 June expected to hit 100,000 mt

Flows of LPG from to Northwest Europe in the first half of June the US Gulf Coast were expected to hit just over 100,000 mt, keeping arrivals at least even with May, according to market sources and data from Platts cFlow, trade flow software.

Those forecast arrivals were concentrated in the first week of June and include two VLGCs and a Handysize vessel, with an additional VLGC expected to also lift from the US east coast for a trip to Northwest Europe.

The 54,336 dwt Concorde left Houston on May 21 and was expected to arrive in Flushing around Friday, while the 49,680 dwt Land Prestige left Port Arthur on May 24 and was due to arrive in Antwerp around June 7, and the 23,258 dwt Navigator Gemini left Galveston on May 19 and was due in Antwerp around Saturday, according to Platts cFlow.

The 51,700 dwt Gas Summit, stationary at Marcus Hook on the US east coast with an unknown destination, according to Platts cFlow, was expected to come to Northwest Europe, a market source said.

Those arrivals have been driven by strong premiums against the paper market in the large CIF propane cargo market, according to a source, with the front-month June spot price assessed at a $4/mt premium to the paper on Tuesday, while July was holding an $8/mt premium against July paper.

The spot price “needs to be at that kind of level to pull it in against the east,” a market source said. Weaker premiums typically mean it is more profitable to send US Gulf Coast cargoes to Asia.

However, on the demand side, that has also led to buyers attempt to wait out the strong prices.

“People [are] trying to hold off into July,” the source said.

June arrivals could match the total arrivals for May, expected to be around 130,000 mt, or three VLGCs, according to market sources and Platts cFlow. Those vessels were the BW Princess, the Gas Summit and the Yuhsan, all of which arrived in Flushing from the US Gulf Coast.

A fourth VLGC, the NS Frontier, was rerouted from Northwest Europe to Tarragona, southern Spain.

The majority of product that arrives from the US Gulf Coast is propane, which is used as a cooking and heating fuel in Europe as well as an alternative petrochemical feedstock to naphtha.

Source: Platts

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