Flows of LPG from the US Gulf Coast to Northwest Europe are expected to reach around 148,000 mt in the first two weeks of December, according to data from cFlow, S&P Global Platts trade flow software.
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Landed volumes over the course of November were around 188,000 mt, according to cFlow, including two VLGCs.
According to traders and brokers in NWE, the arbitrage from the US to Europe has been largely closed since mid-spring of this year, narrowing the stream of vessels making the journey almost exclusively on term contracts, which were heard to largely be going towards petrochemical players.
That restricted supply has also helped support the CIF NWE large cargo market for propane at unseasonal highs throughout the summer, when prices typically fall on a lack of heating demand, despite what traders describe as weak buying interest for inland Europe.
The December arrivals include two VLGCs, according to cFlow data. The Providence left Houston on November 28 and is expected to arrive in Flushing, in the Netherlands, on December 11, according to cFlow.
The Crystal Marine left Freeport, Texas on November 30, and is expected to arrive in Flushing on December 12.
Three smaller vessels, the Seasurfer, the Gaschem Orca and the Kortrijk, were also recorded to be on route from Houston to Flushing, to arrive before mid-December.
VLGCs crossing the Atlantic from the US Gulf Coast to Northwest Europe more commonly serve the propane market in the region, where the product is used for inland heating during winter and as a petrochemical feedstock.
--Katherine Dunn, firstname.lastname@example.org
--Edited by Jonathan Dart, email@example.com