Propane cargo values close flat despite volatility

04 April 2014 23:59 Source:ICIS News

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LONDON (ICIS) – Large propane cargo prices are almost unchanged week-on-week despite significant midweek volatility, sources said on Friday.

Strong buying interest pushed prices up over $800/tonne at one point only to fall again later in the week, with expectations of more than 100,000 tonnes arriving from the US Gulf in April lifting fears over prompt tightness. Prices on 4 April were assessed at $770-780/tonne, down $2/tonne on 28 March.

“There was pretty serious bidding early this week for people looking to cover shorts,” said a broker. “We went as high as $813/tonne. Then crude plummeted and things came down.”

The volatility had a knock-on effect on propane barges, pushing prices upward in combination with suggestions of shortages at a NWE refinery. But a source on Friday said that buyers had been spooked and there was no shortage of product.

“No problems with availability of anything. There are enormous reserves in the storages. Buyers are filling [tanks] because they were worried it might go up further,” said the buyer.

By Richard Welbirg