LPG Market Outlook Featured Article

Mild Weather/Low Petchem Demand Impacting Imports

This current feature was extracted from the latest edition of Poten’s LPG Market Outlook, a monthly service published on January 16, 2024.

The LPG import forecast for the winter of 2023 and 2024 has been lowered in Europe and Northeast Asia as demand in both regions did not meet previous expectations in 4Q 2023. Additionally, imports for 1Q 2024 have been lowered.

Compared to the previous forecast, LPG imports this winter for Europe have been lowered by 300,000 t to 16.1 MMt in the current forecast. The winter LPG import forecast for Northeast Asia has been lowered by about 1.2 MMt to 27 MMt compared to the previous forecast. Mild weather has capped heating demand and lackluster petrochemical demand have been the main reasons for the drop in imports.

Operating rates in Europe are around 70% and PDH operating rates in China are around 60%. Moreover, both regions are seeing stagnant economic growth.

Europe and Northeast Asia Winter LPG Import Forecast Comparison

Global LPG imports grew by 3% in 2023 to 128.3 MMt and forecast to keep the same growth rate out to 2025 when imports are forecast to reach 136.3 MMt. Northeast Asia will remain the largest importing region with Europe, India and Southeast Asia following in that order.

LPG imports for Northeast Asia are forecast to increase to 57.3 MMt by 2025 from 52.4 MMt in 2023, and the region’s share of global imports will remain around 40%. Conversely, Europe’s share of global imports are forecast to decrease from 25% in 2022 to 23% by 2025 despite a rise in the import forecast from 30.6 MMt in 2023 to 31.8 MMt by 2025.

Southeast Asia is forecast to see 11% growth in imports in 2024 to 15.5 MMt driven by declining domestic production and rising demand. If the forecast holds true, Southeast Asia’s share of global imports will increase from 11% to 12%.

 Percent of Global LPG Imports by Region

North America saw the highest Mild Weather/Low Petchem Demand Impacting Imports growth in LPG exports in 2023 with US and Canadian exports rising by 18% and 14%, respectively. Nigeria’s exports fell by 16% from 1.1 MMt to 880,000 t as the country continues to struggle with sabotage, production outages and rising LPG demand.

However, exports are forecast to increase from Nigeria in 2024 and 2025 as offshore production rises to avoid oil theft and infrastructure sabotage.

Global LPG Export Growth Forecast


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