This current feature was extracted from the latest edition of Poten’s LPG in World Markets, a monthly service published on March 8, 2023.
Spot VLGC freight rates from the US Gulf Coast (USGC) to Japan via the Panama Canal have been trending up since the second half of January amid improving cargo demand from China and open arbitrage between the US and Far East. Last year spot freight rates trended down during the same period.
The USGC to Japan spot VLGC rate at the beginning of March was at $153/t after falling to just $109/t six weeks ago, posting a 40% increase during those six weeks. The time charter equivalent also gained momentum.
It appears the sharp increase in the February Saudi Aramco propane contract price (CP) and lower exports from the Middle East drove demand for relatively cheaper US spot cargoes from Far East traders as well as from South Korean and Chinese petrochemical companies last month.
To read the full analysis, click here.