Australia and Russia together will add more than 100,000 b/ of new LPG supply in the coming months, according to ESAI Energy's Global NGL Outlook. Given that U.S. export infrastructure will limit U.S. LPG exports this winter when global demand is strongest, higher exports from Australia and Russia will provide an important alternative source of supply to China, Asia and Europe.
Russian exports will jump a few months from now when LPG production from Rospan and INK ramp up, explains ESAI energy. Russia's exportable surplus, which was 155,000 b/d in 2017, will climb to more than 200,000 b/d in early 2019. While most of these new barrels will be exported to Europe, a portion will begin flowing to China by rail. Meanwhile, Australia's exports to China and other Far East markets will grow. The country's LPG production from fractionation reached new lows of about 40,000 b/d in the second quarter. LPG production from the Ichthys and Prelude LNG projects, which will add 63,000 b/d of LPG supply, will begin by the start of the fourth quarter.
“This winter, export infrastructure will constrain U.S. exports. Meanwhile, the off-season stock builds in the U.S. and other markets has been unimpressive,” comments ESAI Energy Principal Andrew Reed. “Increased exports from Russia and Australia will help alleviate the scarcity that we anticipate in the European and Asian markets. The start of overland deliveries to China is the more significant development in the longer term – the expansion of this trade provides China with an alternative to seaborne imports.”