This week we are not witnessing any vessels that is heading to FE via the Cape of Good Hope.


With 3 VLGCs heading and 1 VLGC currently fixed, ex-US, November exports to Europe are on the rise again reaching 222 Kt , similar to June figures.
Clipper Vanguard was fixed by Statoil to deliver a cargo out of Freeport to Europe. She is expected at USGC on 8-Dec
Geogas’ Karoline N, ex-Marcus Hook, is singalling for Lavera, ETA 6-Dec.
Repsol’s Crystal Marine, ex-Freeport, is signalling for Flushing, ETA 12-Dec.
Vitol’s Providence, ex-Enterprise, is signalling for Flushing, ETA 11-Dec.

SK Gas’ G. Commander, ex-Al Ruwais, is heading to discharge her cargo at Kalbut, ETA 4-Dec.Petredec’s Yamabuki, ex-Nederland, is heading to discharge at Teluk Semangka, ETA 9-Dec.Astomos’ Gas Diana, ex-Bayu Undan, is expected to discharge her cargo at Chita, ETA 3-Dec.AfricaChevron’s Hellas Glory, is expected to load at Escravos, ETA 15-Dec.

Growth of Ethane Trade
Similar with 2016, the ethane trade continued its substantial growth during 2017.
On the export side, the same installations are able to export ethane:
  • Enterprise’s Morgans Point terminal, operating since Sept-16.
  • Sunoco’s Marcus Hook terminal, ethane operation since March-17.
  • Statoil’s Kaarstoe terminal, operating since 2000.
On the demand side, existing and new crackers in operation received ethane shipments:
  • INEOS’s Grangemouth and Sabic’s North Tees both located in Scotland.
  • INEOS’ Rafnes in Norway.
  • Stenungsund based Borealis terminal.
  • Reliance’s Dahej terminal in India (long-term contract between Reliance and Enterprise).
  • Braskem’s Rio de Janeiro cracker (10-year ethane trade contract between Morgans Point and cracker).

New Trade Route
Braskem’s importation of Ethane into Aratu from the USG, is now on track to start taking deliveries. The 380 $ million project involved converting their Camacari cracker to utilise Ethane as 15% of its feedstock instead of 100% Naphtha.
Shipping will be provided by Navigator Gas Transport, who have the Navigator Orion (22,000 cbm) currently discharging the first cargo in Aratu. In addition, Navigator Eclipse (37,000 cbm) loaded the second parcel in Houston and is currently heading to Aratu.Trade FlowsIn 2017, the trade flows of ethane expanded by 2.5 times the size of the 2016 total seaborne exports (2912 Kt YTD for 2017, compared to 1152 total exports for 2016).
Since the beginning of its operations in September 2016, Morgans Point have managed to become the leading ethane seaborne exporting installation. Kpler data reveal that in November, Morgans point exports represents a 75% of the total ethane seaborne exports.
The NWE crackers expanded their imports of ethane in 2017, receiving a 60% of total seaborne ethane cargoes, while Dahej progressively rose as the top ethane seaborne importing installation (receiving on average 2 cargoes of 48 Kt per month).Growth of Ethane FleetThe Ethane trade has grown considerably over the past year, with 22 vessels lifting ethane cargoes compared to 9 vessels in 2016.
INEOS owns the biggest fleet of dedicated ethane vessels (8 ships in the range of 27,500-32,000 cbm), while Indian Petrochemical Reliance is utilizing economies of scale by transferring bigger ethane volumes with it fleet of 6 VLECs (more than 85 cbm). Navigator Gas just entered the ethane waterborne market with the Navigator Eclipse and Navigator Orion starting trade between US-Brazil.

Future of Ethane
Similar to 2016, the ethane seaborne market is expected to grow considerably. New contracts are already reported that will open new trade routes to Asia:
  • INEOS entered in a long-term supply agreement with SP Chemicals in China to deliver Ethane from the US to Taixing. In order to do so, INEOS have contracted with Evergas to build the largest gas carrier, a 95,000 cbm Ethane Capacity (built in China with delivery in 2019). On its side, SP Chemicals will commission a gas cracker plant with a 2019 start-up to produce 650,000mts Ethylene per year.
  • American Ethane Co signed a $26 billion agreement with the Nanshan Group in China to supply 2.6 million tons of Ethane from a new export terminal in the USG. The US Ethane will feed their planned 2 million ton per year Ethylene cracker.