NWE/MED In the NWE market, activity has picked up quite a bit this week with more enquiries and fixtures concluded
In the NWE market, activity has picked up quite a bit this week with more enquiries and fixtures concluded this week with butane continuing to be the preferred grade. Also the adverse weather conditions in ports around the ARA are still creating some delays and causing problems in traders programs but the list of prompt vessels is shrinking. Tonnage availability has become tighter with coa biz keeping vessels busy and spot fixtures mainly towards the Med have also taken off some length. According to forecasts weather conditions in the area are expected to become colder with the region expecting its fist real cold spell which might help finally boost propane demand. More specifically the propane coaster market this week remains inactive with no real spot fixing being seen with domestic demand quite stagnant and only some coa activity can be witnessed. Also there seems to be a shortage of tons for the remainder of the month as well as the beginning of next month. On the other hand the butane coaster market continues to be at healthy levels with increased demand and quite a few fixtures finalized this week with blenders still present but lowering their demand a bit. Also product availability is good both from refineries and terminals with the exception of good quality product which is harder to pin down.
Moving to the MED now, this week the spot market has picked up with the East Med seeing an increase in activity with traders looking for tonnage for feb dates. In the propane coaster market in particular, demand continues to be minimal despite some colder temperatures in the wider Med area. As reported no transactions were seen ex South France although some bids took place with sellers waiting for prices to increase. On the other hand the butane coaster market continues to be healthier with demand from Maghreb and East Med regions but with supplies starting to diminish. According to reports S France has sold the majority of their tons on a prompt p+c basis.
In the Feast pressurized market there were reportedly more lpg spot enquiries this week with fob cargoes mainly ex. China towards Philippines / E Malaysia. Furthermore on the tc and coa side of the market, vessels are pretty much well scheduled for the remainder of the month and only a few potential openings showing. As far as vessel availabilities are concerned the majority of the fleet has been fixed before the New Years Celebrations thus leaving quite a tight market. Lastly in the Indian Ocean, the situation is the same as always with no real spot potential as vessels have been fixed away with programs well scheduled for the whole of January.
In the Asian petchems market now, activity has been pretty much subdued this week as most traders have already taken care of their shipping needs before the holiday period in Asia. As far as ppl activity goes this week remains on the quiet side with demand at low levels and expected to regain momentum after the New Year Celebrations when traders will be keen to replenish their stocks. On to the other petchem markets, B1, CC4 and btd have been also pretty slow this week with reportedly only C5 product showing some strength. Furthermore the vcm market was particularly inactive this week which was mainly a result of reportedly some unfortunate plant events in the region.
Time Charter Fixtures
Gaz Venezia (7,500 cbm) was fixed for 1 year T/C to acct Mitsui with del Jan / Asia – hnr.
Grendon (5,000 cbm) was extended for 1 year T/C to current acct Petredec taking effect in July – hnr
Sale and Purchase/New Buildings
Sigloo Crystal (10, 503 cbm, blt 1991) tbn Gaz Atmosphere was sold to Magnus Carriers with del end Jan 2012 - price reported around usd 6 mill.
Source: StealthGas INC