BW LPG Remains in Loss amid Depressed Spot Rates

Oslo-listed gas carrier owner BW LPG has reported a loss of USD 60.4 million in the third quarter of 2016, compared to a profit of USD 106.1 million seen in the same quarter a year earlier, representing a 156.9 percent change.

The loss for the current quarter was mainly due to depressed LPG spot rates and impairment charges on certain vessels and its investment in Aurora LPG of USD 50.3 million and USD 10.6 million, respectively.

Operating revenue dropped by 53.2 percent to USD 104.8 million in the third quarter of 2016, from USD 223.8 million in the same period in 2015, while time charter equivalent (TCE) income halved to USD 80.5 million from USD 181.7 million, mainly due to the decline in LPG spot rates.

BW LPG said that these factors resulted in a decrease in TCE income of USD 88.2 million and USD 13 million in the VLGC and LGC segments, respectively.

VLGC rates averaged USD 11,530 per day in the third quarter of 2016. Freight rates continued to be adversely impacted in the quarter by narrower geographic LPG price spreads leading to multiple cargo cancellations in the U.S. Gulf Coast and continuing, albeit decelerating, fleet expansion.

Seaborne LPG trade contracted by 1% in the third quarter of 2016 compared to the third quarter of 2015, led by declines of 20% in India. This was partially offset by import growth of 20% and 29% in China and Korea, respectively.

U.S. seaborne LPG export volumes contracted slightly year on year, totaling 5.5 million tons in the third quarter of 2016. Middle Eastern LPG export volumes continued growing by 7% on the back of increased Saudi Arabian and, to a lesser extent, Iranian volumes.

BW LPG’s loss year-to-date stood at USD 56.1 million, compared to a profit of USD 244.1 million reported in the nine-month period in 2015, representing a decrease of 123 percent.

The company’s operating revenue for the first nine months of 2016 was at USD 389.2 million, down from USD 581.5 million, while the TCE income for the respective periods dropped to USD 316.7 million from USD 466.7 million.

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