Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company, Saudi Aramco, announced on March 31 that it would raise the price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for April shipments to Japan for the third straight month. Crude oil prices have soared due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and supply instability in oil-producing countries, which has spread to LPG prices. Propane used for hot water supply and heating is $ 940 per ton, which is $ 45 (5%) higher than the previous month. Butane for petrochemicals also rose $ 40 (4%) to $ 960, both highs for the first time in about eight years and two months.
In the LP gas market, demand remained strong despite the volatility of the European energy market, and the supply-demand balance remained high, and there were concerns about the impact on the Middle East market. In the Asian market, demand for petrochemicals in China, South Korea, and Taiwan is strong, and supply is not worried about supply and demand as Saudi Arabia’s shipping base maintenance is prolonged and shipments are suppressed, but Qatar and Abu Dhabi sell spots. In the United States, both propane demand and exports are strong and remain at a high level. The price of the US Mont bell View propane spot soared to 841 US dollars in the beginning of the year due to the sharp rise in crude oil prices, but in the middle of the year, the price fell below 650 US dollars due to the rebound in the crude oil market. (Reference: Nikkei Inc., Energy Intelligence Network, ENEOS GLOBE).