0549 GMT March 25, 2019
The majority of the shipments are destined for China, where importers are grappling with higher import tariffs for US LPG in an escalating trade war, and are scrambling for Middle Eastern cargoes instead, S&P Global Platts reported.
The jump in Iranian exports also came ahead of the reimposition of sanctions by the US. International buyers of Iranian oil have till November 4 to wind down contracts before Washington re-imposes sanctions on the oil, energy, shipping and insurance sectors, a US Treasury Department fact sheet showed.
Beijing and Tehran, meanwhile, agreed to bolster strategic cooperation during Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's visit to China in June.
Yet, some traders remained concerned that if US sanctions resumed in November, Chinese importers might stop taking LPG from Iran and seek even more alternatives from other Middle East sources, which could further drive up cargo prices from that region.
This month, Chinese importers had snapped up spot LPG cargoes offered by Middle Eastern producers, and have recently resold a number of cargoes which traders said could be of US origin, as China prepared to impose a 25-percent tariff on US propane and butane imports.
Other than China, other destinations possibly include Thailand and India, according to shipping sources and cFlow, S&P Global Platts' ship tracking software.
Trading company Global Reality has loaded a cargo comprising 33,000 tons of propane and 11,000 tons of butane from Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industry Commercial Co., or PGPICC, aboard the VLGC Gas Jasmine which left Bandar Imam Khomeini on August 4. It arrived at Fangcheng port in southern China on August 25, cFlow showed.
Trading company Triliance lifted at Bandar Imam Khomeini a 44,000-ton evenly split cargo from PGPICC aboard the LPG Scorpio, which departed August 9 and arrived at Guangdong on August 29.
Naftiran Intertrade Co., or NICO — a unit of National Iranian Oil Co. — has lifted aboard the LPG Capricorn, a 44,000-ton propane cargo from Iranian Gas Commercial Co., or IGCC, which sailed from Assalouyeh August 19. The VLGC is due to arrive in Guangdong September 4.
NICO has also lifted at Assalouyeh aboard the Indian-flagged VLGC Takao Gas, formerly Gas Sapphire, a 44,000-ton propane cargo from IGCC. The vessel, which is now in the Gulf of Oman, is bound for Ennore on India's east coast, cFlow showed.
NICO was also expected to lift an unknown cargo from IGCC (Iranian Gas Commercial Co.) at Assalouyeh this week aboard the VLGC Venture Gas, which is managed by Great Eastern Shipping, cFlow showed.
Thai trader Siam Gas' vessel Ming De left Assalouyeh on August 5 with a 44,000-ton evenly split cargo from PGPICC. The vessel arrived at the Thai port of Sri Racha near Bangkok on August 23 and left the next day.
Siam Gas was due to lift a cargo comprising 33,000 tons of propane and 11,000 tons of butane from IGCC at Assalouyeh aboard the VLGC De Hua on August 25, according to cFlow. Its destination is not known.
The Thai trader has lifted a similar cargo from IGCC aboard the VLGC Ming Ming, which departed from Assalouyeh on August 14.
Siam Gas is taking a PGPICC cargo comprising 33,000 tons of propane and 11,000 tons of butane aboard the EverRich 10 at Imam Khomeini Port. The vessel is due to arrive in Shantou on September 10.
Trading company Pacific Petrochemical's 49,874-ton vessel, Sea Gloria, is scheduled to lift a cargo at Assalouyeh, though the destination is not yet known.
Pacific Petrochemical has lifted aboard the VLGC Pacific Weihai a 44,000-ton evenly split cargo from PGPICC, which left Assalouyeh August 10. The vessel has left Qinzhou in southern China August 25 and arrived in Ningbo on August 28, cFlow showed.
Pacific Petrochemical's Hong Kong-flagged vessel Pacific Rizhao left Assalouyeh August 21 with a cargo comprising 30,000 tons of propane and 10,000 tons of butane from IGCC. The vessel is due to arrive in Ningbo on September 9.
Pacific Petrochemical is also due to lift an unknown cargo from Kharg Petrochemical Co. aboard the VLGC Gas Danuta. The vessel is now in the Gulf of Oman due for Fujairah, before which it had departed from Zhangjiagang on August 5.