Rates to ship LPG on very large gas carriers rose again on 10 July as more ships were fixed to load in Algeria, west Africa, and the US Gulf. This is despite weak LPG demand in east Asia.
The Baltic Exchange assessed the benchmark Gulf-Far East rate at USD135.50/tonne on 13 July, up USD1.50 from 10 July.
At current bunker prices in Fujairah, that works out to daily earnings of more than USD139,000.
Demand in the Far East is, however, sluggish due to the summer and ample stocks in China, South Korea, and Japan.
Pricing agency Oil Price Information Service said that after several spot cargoes for July-August loading were traded recently, more vessels have been taken out of the market, which lent some support to freight rates.
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A London-based broker told IHS Maritime that there have been enquiries for cargoes in early August, and with tonnage still tight, rates could soar again.
“We expect August to be another good month for shipowners,” said the broker.
Geogas fixed BW Aries for USD134.50/tonne while TOTAL fixed Morston for USD134/tonne for Gulf-Far East trips.
The usual Indian demand continues to provide support for the freight market, with Indian Oil Corporation fixing Captain John NP for USD5.725 million on a lump-sum basis.
OPIS said, “There is likely still demand for vessels in August, particularly from west Africa and Algeria, keeping chartering rates strong.”
On 13 July, spot vessel rates for Algeria, west Africa, and Houston to Japan climbed to about USD220/tonne, USD225.50/tonne, and USD327.50/tonne respectively, up from USD219.50/tonne, USD225/tonne, and USD327/tonne on 10 July.