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            october 18, 2019

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US-China trade war brings gas carrier trade to near standstill


China was the leading importer of the US. Surplus liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) production, but this trade has been hit by the months-long trade row between the two nations, and it's having a knock-on effect on the very large gas carrier (VLGCs) shipping segment.
According to a consensus of data from Clarksons Research Services, IHS Markit and the World LPG Association, global LPG production rose by 1.4 per cent year on year to reach 310 million tonnes in 2018. This data shows that global LPG production has risen by 50 million tonnes since the beginning of the decade.
Global LPG production is anticipated to exceed 350 million tonnes by 2024, according to data from IHS Markit, propelled by the dramatic ramping up of LPG production from US shale gas and tight oil supply, reported London's Riviera Maritime Media.
In the longer term, LPG production from shale oil and gas is expected to level off in the late 2020s, when production is anticipated to plateau. This will be the main source of LPG production growth, with refineries globally not expected to boost LPG production by any significant amount.
Domestic US LPG consumption is also forecast to remain flat. The long-term storage of high volumes of LPG is not a significant factor in the LPG production/consumption equation and it is likely that US exports of LPG will rise as the domestic surplus expands.

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