NWE/MED: In the NWE market, activity isn’t showing signs of recovery this week with only a few enquiries and actual fixtures being realised. As far as vessel availabilities are concerned
In the NWE market, activity isn’t showing signs of recovery this week with only a few enquiries and actual fixtures being realised. As far as vessel availabilities are concerned, the list is on the long side with quite a few trader re-lets also in the market and this is putting some downward pressure on rates. Furthermore the bad weather conditions this week in the market have created slight delays in ports around the ARA region primarily, taking some length at least off the list of available vessels. Specifically the propane coaster market this week continues at the same pace and sellers seem to be waiting for prices to firm up before pushing tons. Despite some colder weather seen in the region it hasn’t been enough to really take some length of stockpiles. On the other hand the butane coaster market has seen some healthy demand for product especially from blenders and there is also a reported arbitrage opportunity with the South still available. Furthermore spot prices seem to be firming up on the back of higher naphtha prices and East Med demand.
Moving to the MED now, this week the spot market was on the quiet side as well but there was some preference being shown for butane once again but apart from that most owners are keeping to themselves. In the propane coaster market in particular, demand is restrained especially on the spot side most activity is seen accumulated by coa biz and petchems. Also as reported there were some lots traded ex Lavera for beg February. Also terminals and refineries are well stocked but traders are holding out for better demand. On the other hand the butane coaster market was healthier with continued demand ex Maghreb ad East Med regions. Also reportedly in S France there were tons fixed on a prompt p+c basias this week and demand is expected to stay at healthy levels in the near future.
In the Feast pressurized market traders were mainly busy with their own programs up until the end of the month in order to cover gaps before the Chinese New Year celebrations that will keep the market silent. Furthermore there were some lpg enquiries reported mainly ex. Malaysia and S.China for beg Feb deliveries. In China, refineries will reportedly keep low inventory levels throughout the New Year period creating some price volatility and things are expected to return to normal in February again. Also according to reports the Gaoqiao Petrochemical refinery is up and running with production levels back to normal after last weeks scheduled maintenance.
In the Asian petchems market now, ppl activity was on the quiet side with most traders busy with their own tc and coa programs and were not giving much notice to alternatives. Also the number of vessels under ppl remains at balanced levels with no real activity expected on the spot side before beg February. The market will be more or less quiet during the holiday festivities in the region and the scheduled cracker maintenances in February are not helping demand pick up. On the other petchems markets, cc4 and btd are the stronger ones with some demand seen and vcm is showing less interest. Also there were some delays reported at ports in the Feast region due to bad weather and port congestion and we will most likely have to wait for the holidays to pass in order to see any renewed interest.
Time Charter Fixtures
Mill Reef (82,000 cbm) was fixed for 5-10 days short T/C to act Itochu with del AG / 2H Jan – hnr.
Helle Kosan (3,700 cbm) was fixed for 1 month T/C to acct PTT with del SEA / Jan – hnr.
Gas Serenity (3,200 cbm) was fixed for 1 year T/C to acct I-Shipcom with del Feast/Mar 2012 – hnr.
Hellas Glory (80,700 cbm) was fixed for 10-30 days short T/C to acct Gunvor with del NWE/ beg Feb – hnr.
Lady Stephanie (3,200 cbm) was extended for 4 months + 4 months ops T/C to account Chemgas in direct continuation – hnr
Sale and Purchase/New Buildings
Haydock (4,100 cbm) was sold to Petrolift (Philippines) with del Jan 2012 – price reportedly abt Usd 12 mill
Evergas reportedly has placed an additional order at Sinopacific, China for 4 x 12,000/17,000 cbm ethylene carriers – pnr,
Norgas Energy (6,126 cbm, blt 1979, 4,30 lwt) was reported sold for scrap with del is Singapore – price reported at around usd 940 per lwt
Source: StealthGas INC