Tehran October 18 2021: Iran's LPG shipments are set to reach around 440,000-450,000 mt in October compared with 556,000 mt exported in September, largely to Asia, and are expected to rebound in November, trade sources said.
Exports up to Oct. 13 were around 220,000 mt, the sources added.
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"The export volume in October will be lower in comparison to September. The export volume is fluctuating between 450,000 mt/month and 530,000 mt/month," a trade source told S&P Global Platts.
"November will be estimated to be the same as September in case we don't face shutdowns."
Iran's LPG exports were hovering near two-year highs at around 500,000 mt/month since July-August and rose further in September. This, together with volumes in October and November, would help to meet recovering Chinese demand, as more propane dehydrogenation plants return from maintenance.
Yantai Wanhua Chemical restarted the 750,000 mt/year PDH plant Oct. 13, a company source said, after shutting it Sept. 10 for 40 days.
Fuji Petrochemical, a subsidiary of Oriental Energy, resumed operations of its PDH plant in eastern Zhejiang province around mid September following maintenance since early August.
LPG prices in Asia have been rallying, as heating demand picked up ahead of the Northern hemisphere winter and concerns arose over global gas supply, with CFR North Asia propane rising to $910/mt Oct. 6, the highest since July 2, 2014, when it reached $918/mt, Platts data showed. It eased to $870.5/mt Oct. 15, as the market took occasional pauses and sellers emerged amid favorable prices.
Robust Asian market sentiment, led by Chinese demand for feedstock as new PDH plants come onstream, has also been pushing up the monthly Saudi term contract prices.
Saudi Aramco's October term propane CP was set at $800/mt, the fifth-straight monthly increase and highest since July 2014, and the butane CP was at $795/mt, the highest since August 2014, Platts data showed.
The upcoming November term propane and butane CPs are expected to rise for the sixth month in a row, trade sources said, as the November propane CP swap was notionally indicated Oct. 15 at $845/mt, up from $840.5/mt valued in the previous session, while butane was indicated $25/mt below propane.