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Gulf Coast VLGC freight rates climb to nine-month highs ahead of Thanksgiving

Highlights

VLGC freight rates climb to nine-month high

FOB USGC propane cargoes muted

New York — Very Large Gas Carrier freight rates out of the US Gulf Coast climbed to nine-month highs Nov. 24 as market sources pointed to shipping delays and a flurry of interest ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

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Freight on the route from Houston to Japan rose $12 to $127/mt based on market indications of a fixture done at that level.

"It's fast-moving," said a market source, noting fixtures done at $120/mt Nov. 23, which quickly jumped to $125/mt and $127/mt.

The Houston-to-Europe route held at $68/mt, after jumping $12 a day earlier.

Freight was last assessed higher at $128/mt to Japan and $70/mt to Europe Feb. 10.

Market sources attributed freight strength to a short tonnage list on Panama Canal delays related to coronavirus-containment efforts, which were heard to range from six to eight days, along with increased demand for VLGCs ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday in the US.

FOB USGC full propane cargo activity was not nearly as liquid, however. S&P Global Platts assessed propane cargoes unchanged at a 7-cent/gal premium over cavern product.

"Only heard one deal last week, and interest is pretty thin," a shipping source said.

Further inland, in Mont Belvieu, Texas, November non-LST propane rose 1 cent to 54.25 cents/gal based on a standing bid at 54 cents/gal in the Platts Market on Close assessment process.