LPG exports expected to reach 5.6m metric tons in 2022

January 14, 2022 - 15:6

TEHRAN - Iran's 2022 liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) exports are projected to reach 5.6 million metric tons (mt) in 2022 from 5.5 million mt in the previous year, Platts reported, citing trade sources.

Analysts, however, believe that Iran is expected to boost exports by 1.9 million mt this year, the report said.

Between 2018 and 2020, Iran added 3.2 million mt of LPG production capacity mainly from the South Pars gas field and by September 2021 it was projected to add another 2.2 million mt.

The Islamic Republic, whose energy sector has been subjected to U.S. sanctions since 2018 when former President Donald Trump's administration withdrew from a nuclear pact, also aims to bring online 130 million cubic meters per day (mcm/d) of additional gas production capacity in 2022.

This includes gas from the delayed phase 11 of the offshore South Pars field and emergency onshore operations as domestic consumption surpasses production, according to Mohsen Khojasteh-Mehr, managing director of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC).

China has been the biggest buyer of Iranian LPG, importing 4.94 million mt in 2019, 3.85 million mt in 2020, and 1.965 million mt over January-May 2021, industry data showed.

Some trade sources said Iranian cargoes have been attractive to Chinese buyers, with more discounts compared to Saudi Contract Prices.

The previous round of Western sanctions in 2012 saw Chinese buyers buying Iranian LPG at discounts of $40-$50/mt, sources said.

Based on Platts report, LPG exports from major West Asian producers in 2022 are expected to increase 6.6 percent from 2021 as competition for the growing Asian markets intensifies amid expanding supply from other producers, led by the U.S.

As reported, total exports from Iran, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait are estimated to rise to 38.9 million mt in 2022, from 36.5 million last year.

EF/MA

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