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Iran's March LPG exports rebound to 440,000 mt, mostly China-bound: sources

Iran's LPG shipments recovered to 440,000 mt in March from around 400,000mt in February, with most of the cargoes destined for China, fixtures fromshipping sources showed this week.

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One cargo each is bound for Indonesia, India and Taiwan, the fixturesshowed.

Shipments for the first three months were estimated at 1.36 million mt,with January registering a post-sanctions high of 520,000 mt.

Shipment resumed to Indonesia in March after a hiatus in February, withinternational trading firm Petredec lifting aboard the Pacific Shanghai a44,000 mt evenly split cargo from Iranian Gas Commercial Co., or IGCC, atAssaluyeh on March 7.

The VLGC is now off southeast Sri Lanka and is due to arrive at TelukSemangka in Sumatra on March 16, according to S&P Global Platts trade flowsoftware cFlow.

No cargoes were seen lifted directly by Indonesia's Pertamina in Marchand it was not immediately clear if the state-run company had concluded a newterm contract with Iran.

Thai trader Siam Gas has lifted aboard the VLGC Ming De a cargocomprising 33,000 mt of propane and 11,000 mt of butane from IGCC at Assaluyehon March 9. The vessel, which is now off the Indian west coast, is bound forsouthern China's Guangdong, cFlow shows.

Trading firm Global Reality has lifted aboard the Gas Jasmine a cargocomprising 33,000 mt of propane and 11,000 mt of butane from Persian GulfPetrochemical Industry Commercial Co., or PGPICC, at Assaluyeh, on March 5.The VLGC is currently off southeast Sri Lanka and is due to arrive inFangcheng, southern China, on March 25, cFlow shows.

Naftiran Intertrade Co., or NICO, a subsidiary of National Iranian OilCo., lifted aboard the BW Orion a 44,000 mt evenly split cargo from IGCC, atAssaluyeh on February 27, cFlow shows. The VLGC is now off Singapore and isbound for Ningbo on March 20.

NICO also lifted a cargo comprising 33,000 mt of propane and 11,000 mt ofbutane aboard the LPG Capricorn from IGCC at Assaluyeh on March 12. The VLGCis now in the Persian Gulf and is due to arrive in Mailiao, Taiwan, on March28, cFlow shows.

CHINESE PDH PLANTS HIKE OPERATING RATES

Oriental Energy, which operates propane dehydrogenation plants in China,lifted aboard the Pacific Yantai, a cargo comprising 33,000 mt of propane and11,000 mt of butane, from PGPICC, at Bandar Imam Khomeini. The 54,747-dwtvessel is now off southeast Sri Lanka and is due to arrive in Guangdong onMarch 22, cFlow shows.

The Chinese company also lifted aboard the VLGC Gas Dignity a 22,000 mtevenly split cargo from Kharg Petrochemical, as well as a 22,000 mt propaneparcel from PGPICC at Bandar Imam Khomeini. The vessel is now near the Gulf ofOman and is bound for Ningbo on March 31, cFlow shows.

Oriental Energy lifted aboard a third vessel, Pacific Weihai, a cargocomprising 33,000 mt of propane and 11,000 mt of butane, from PGPICC atAssaluyeh on March 11, cFlow shows. The vessel is destined for an unidentifiedport in China.

Trading firm Triliance lifted aboard the Sisouli Prem a cargo comprising33,000 mt of propane and 11,000 mt of butane from IGCC at Assaluyeh. The VLGC is now near Kolkata in northeast India, cFlow shows.

A cargo from IGCC, comprising 33,000 mt of propane and 11,000 mt ofbutane, is also due to be lifted at Assaluyeh in March. The lifter anddestination are not yet known, shipping sources said.

The arrivals of more Iranian cargoes in China this month come as PDHplants returned from the long Lunar New Year holidays around end-February.

Three PDH plants -- Tianjin Bohai Chemical, Ningbo Haiyue and Ningbo Fuji-- have also raised operating rates in February after maintenance, said domestic information provider JLC.

Oriental Energy's Zhangjiagang Yangzijiang Petrochemical in easternJiangsu province, which shut for maintenance from February 7, is expected torestart around late March, JLC said.

--Ramthan Hussain, ramthan.hussain@spglobal.com

--Edited by Irene Tang, irene.tang@spglobal.com