Singapore — Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., or ADNOC, has announced acceptances of term LPG nominations for August loading without cuts or delays, similar to that for July loading, traders said on July 13.
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The move is in line with Qatar Petroleum for the Sale of Petroleum Products' acceptance of nominations in the previous week.
"We have not heard any cuts or delays, despite most buyers nominating for H2 August lifting," said a Singapore-based trader.
"Our operations with [ADNOC] for term lifting is going on smoothly," said a Southeast Asian term taker on July 13.
"No cuts or delays that we have heard," said a Japanese trader on July 13, concurring that ADNOC has accepted August LPG term nominations from buyers for August without cuts or delays.
NOMINATIONS MOSTLY FOR H2 LOADING
Traders have pointed out that it makes sense for buyers to nominate term cargoes with Middle Eastern suppliers for second-half August loading, to leverage on the current $13/mt contango between H1 August and H1 September in the CFR North Asia market.
"Most of the nominations are for H2 August lifting, similar to Qatar Petroleum's August nominations," the source added.
This could in turn pressure Middle Eastern sellers to offer more spot tenders for H1 August loading to relieve some inventory pressure, according to participants.
"It makes sense given the reported slow steaming and longer routing of VLGCs from the West to try and take advantage of the upward curve," said a Southeast Asian LPG buyer on July 13.
DISCOUNT TO FOB AG
Front month August CP propane swap was notionally indicated mid-day on July 13 at $347/mt, down from $348/mt on July 9. CP August/September propane swap spread notionally widened to plus $3/mt on July 13, compared with plus $1/mt on July 9.
Meanwhile, the August propane Far East Index swaps was notionally at a $9/mt discount to the CP swaps, indicative of the large price inversion between FOB Arab Gulf and CFR North Asia for August.
Kuwait Petroleum's latest tender offering 44,000 mt mixed LPG comprising 33,000 mt of propane and 11,000 mt of butane for August 4-5 loading, was awarded late July 10 at August CP minus around $30/mt, said traders, as OPEC+ oil production cuts fail to stem widening discount for FOB Arab Gulf propane differentials.
The discount was assessed at $21/mt on July 9. Pressure remains on the FOB AG market as Asian end-users peg their buying price for AG cargoes against competitively priced Western cargoes, said participants.
The front-cycle CFR North Asia H1 August physical propane was last assessed at $320.50/mt on July 9, at a discount of $27.50/mt to August CP swap, Platts data showed.