Platts— LPG shipments from Iran made a strong start to the year, rebounding to 520,000 mt in January, the highest since Western sanctions for its nuclear program were lifted in January 2016, updated fixtures from shipping sources showed this week.
The latest volume is 146,000 mt more than initial figures published in mid-January, according to shipping sources. It is also up 39.4% from 373,000 mt in December 2017, when shipments posted the first month-on-month increase in three months, after exports started declining in September due to lower output at the South Pars gas field amid a two-month maintenance. In 2017, Iran’s LPG shipments totaled around 3.5 million mt, with the highest monthly volume seen in August at 423,000 mt before the maintenance, which ended around mid-November, sources had said.
Iranian exports are helping to fill shortfalls of spot supply from the Middle East, as major producers Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar and Kuwait are exporting less spot cargoes as they focus on fulfilling term contracts and meeting domestic petrochemical demand.
Preliminary figures so far showed 132,000 mt fixed for lifting in February in three cargoes, shipping sources said.
Thai trader Siam Gas has lifted aboard the VLGC Ming Long a cargo comprising 33,000 mt of propane and 11,000 mt of butane from Iranian Gas Commercial Co., or IGCC, at Assaluyeh on February 5 for delivery to Guangdong, in southeast China, according to shipping sources and cFlow, S&P Global Platts trade flow software.
The vessel is now in the Persian Gulf and is due to reach its destination around February 28, cFlow shows.
Naftiran Intertrade Co., or NICO, a subsidiary of National Iranian Oil Co., lifted a 44,000-mt evenly split cargo from IGCC at Assaluyeh on February 4. The vessel is currently off port limits at Mumbai, cFlow showed.
Trading firm Pacific Petrochemical is scheduled to lift a cargo comprising 33,000 mt of propane and 11,000 mt butane aboard the VLGC Gas Courage from IGCC at Assaluyeh. The vessel is currently near the Strait of Hormuz, cFlow shows.
DESTINED FOR CHINA, TAIWAN, INDONESIA, SOUTH ASIA, KENYA Latest fixtures also showed that NICO had lifted on January 21, a 44,000-mt evenly split cargo from Assaluyeh from IGCC for delivery to Mailiao in Taiwan aboard the vessel LPG Capricorn. The vessel is currently off Mailiao on the island’s west coast, according to cFlow.
International trading firm Petredec lifted aboard the VLGC BW Thor a 44,000-mt evenly split cargo at Assaluyeh on January 24, which reached Teluk Semangka at Indonesia’s Sumatra island early this month and has set sail on February 6. The vessel is now in the Indian Ocean en-route to Fujairah, cFlow shows.
Petredec also lifted a 44,000-mt evenly split cargo from Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industry Commercial Co., or PGPICC, from Assaluyeh last month aboard the VLGC BW Sakura, which reached Teluk Semangka on February 8, cFlow shows.
Petredec had discharged on January 23 at Teluk Semangka a 44,000-mt evenly split cargo aboard the VLGC Pacific Shanghai, which it had lifted from PGPICC.
Platts earlier reported that other January-lifting cargoes from Assaluyeh were: Siam Gas’ cargo comprising 33,000 mt propane and 11,000 mt butane lifted from IGCC aboard the Ming De, which arrived at Thailand’s Sri Racha terminal and then sailed for Hukou in China on January 31, and NICO’s 44,000-mt evenly split cargo abroad the BW Tyr, which discharged at India’s Mumbai and Visakhapatnam between January 18 and 24, according to cFlow.
Other January shipments were: Iranian trader Caspian Petrochemical’s cargo comprising 33,000 mt propane and 11,000 mt butane aboard the Pacific Rizhao, which discharged at Qinzhou in southern China; as well as a 24,000-mt mixed cargo and a 20,000-mt mixed cargo aboard the Gas Dignity, which arrived in Ningbo on February 8, cFlow shows.
Iranian trading firm Triliance discharged a cargo from IGCC comprising 33,000 mt propane and 11,000 mt butane aboard the Gas Crystal at Guangdong on February 8, cFlow shows.
Triliance also discharged a 5,000-mt parcel aboard the vessel EverRich 6 at Pakistan’s Port Qasim last month, while trading firm Global Reality discharged a cargo comprising 33,000 mt propane and 11,000 mt butane from IGCC aboard the Gas Jasmine at Guangdong on February 8, cFlow shows.
International trading firm Glencore has discharged a cargo comprising 6,000 mt propane and 31,000 mt butane aboard the SeaSpeed at Mombasa in Kenya on February 8, cFlow shows.