Iran LPG Shipments Reach 400K Tons

Iran LPG Shipments Reach 400K TonsIran LPG Shipments Reach 400K Tons

Iran's LPG shipments lifted or due for lifting in May fell almost 100,000 tons from April to 400,700 tons, after rising for the past two months, as some refineries in the country were shut for spring maintenance, shipping sources said this week.

Ahead of the maintenance during the Iranian spring, which started around late-March till end-June, Iran's LPG exports had hit 520,000 tons in January, the most since the previous western sanctions were removed in January 2016, Platts reported.

Exports eased to 400,000 tons in February, before rebounding to 440,000 tons in March and 500,000 tons in April, market sources said.

The May program will take the total shipments so far this year to 2.26 million tons. The latest shipments are expected to head for China, India, Pakistan, Taiwan, Indonesia and Thailand, according to shipping sources and cFlow, S&P Global Platts trade flow software.

Seven vessels had already left Iranian ports with their cargoes, while four have yet to depart or have yet to arrive at Iranian ports.

Trade sources said that in view of the recent restoration of US sanctions on Iran, traders were worried about less flexibility to offer Iran-origin LPG, which will impact their price differentials.

Market sources at shipping companies had also expressed concerns over complications related to processing of freight and insurance-linked payments, market sources said on Monday.

China, however, has steadily been building up its own armada of VLGCs to import LPG feedstock for its growing petrochemical industry. And as was seen during the previous western sanctions on Iran for its nuclear program, Chinese importers have been able to circumvent restrictions facing international shipping and trading firms.

Vessels that have departed Iranian ports are Pacific Weihai, Epic Saradinia, Ming Ming, Sisouli Prem, BW Pine, Gas Dignity and BW Elm. Vessels, which have yet to arrive, or are waiting at Iranian ports, include Palanimala Gas, Pacific Shanghai, Gas Aries and Sea Dragon.

Pacific Petrochemical, a trading entity for major Chinese propane dehydrogenation plant operator Oriental Energy, had lifted a 22,000-ton butane cargo from Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industry Commercial Company, or PGPICC, at Bandar Imam Khomeini, aboard the Pacific Weihai. The VLGC had arrived at Zhangjiagang on May 22.

Oriental Energy operates the Zhangjiagang Yangzijiang Petrochemical Plant in eastern Jiangsu Province.


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