BW LPG Plunges into Loss amid Depressed LPG Spot Rates
zoom Oslo-listed BW LPG Limited has reported a loss of USD 55.6 million in the second quarter of 2016, representing a decrease of 168 percent from a profit of USD 80.7 million seen in the same period in 2015.The company said that the loss was mainly due to depressed LPG spot rates and impairment charges on certain vessels in the amount of USD 55.5 million, as well as BW LPG’s investment of USD 20.9 million in Aurora LPG.BW LPG’s operating revenue for the quarter dropped to USD 121.8 million from USD 189.6 million recorded in the same quarter a year earlier, while time charter equivalent (TCE) income decreased to USD 99.4 million from USD 154.7 million for the periods.The company said that VLGC rates averaged USD 20,060 per day in the second quarter of 2016, adversely impacted by narrower geographic LPG price spreads and continuing strong fleet growth.Seaborne LPG trade grew by 5.5% year on year in the second quarter of 2016, led by a 22% increase in Chinese LPG imports and a 16% uptick in Indian import volumes. Growth in Chinese and Indian import demand was offset by declines of 7% and 16% in Japanese and European LPG imports, respectively.US seaborne LPG export volumes continued to grow to approximately 6.5 mt in the second quarter of 2016, a 33% increase from a year ago. Middle Eastern LPG export volumes also grew by 9% on the back of increased Saudi Arabian and Emirati volumes.Freight rates currently stand at their lowest level since 2009 as US propane prices have exceeded Asian LPG prices by 50% in 2016, and the VLGC fleet has grown by 34% since the second quarter of 2015.During the first half of 2016, the group reported a profit of USD 4.3 million, down by 96 percent from USD 138 million seen in the first half of 2015. The drop was mainly attributed to recognition of an impairment charge totalling USD 76.4 million on certain vessels and available-for-sale financial assets.The company’s operating revenue for the first half stood at USD 284.3 million, down from USD 357.6 million reported in the same period a year earlier.