The summer holiday clothes, the sun cream and photos, are now all destined for the physical and electronic storages, the kids are back, or going back, to school (hooray!), the northern hemisphere nights are drawing in, Love Island is but a dream and those winter TV series are all about to re-start! The structure of our lives is therefore about to change, so why not the structure of the LPG market?
When I look at history it shows me how we take for granted the way we act in today’s world, but it also shows me how much markets evolve. My goal is not to academically narrate or verify what did or did not happen, but to give you a sense that LPG wasn’t just the cast-off side of the petroleum business, that it actually had a life of it’s own.
There’s not really a similar sector anywhere in the international oil and gas industry that performs the same role as the “midstream” does in the U.S. market. I can remember my mother would irately say, when I interrupted her for some reason, “don’t stop me in midstream”, otherwise it wasn’t a word often used in the Hill household.
I’ve been in this business for a very long time now and it probably makes me start taking things for granted – that’s certainly been the case for the Saudi Aramco Contract Pricing (CP) and its influence on Middle East suppliers and their homes in the East. So, will we see a fundamental change in the way LPG is priced in the Middle East, and if so, when? How many times has that question been asked?
In yesterday’s SIMON SAYS I explained the slightly more conventional relationships between motor gasoline and normal butane, as time fast approaches when the winter gasoline vapour pressure specification kicks-in, but as always, it’s in a market where the supply and demand factors are competing with each other to set new equilibriums, impacting prices along the curve.
I’m on day five of the Hill family summer vacation in Ibiza. The beautiful villa is up in the hills close to Saint Miquel, if you know the island, or maybe you can only remember entering the Pacha and Amnesia nightclubs, certainly the second club is aptly named! Anyway, the days of partying are a distant memory, and I can also hear a lot of you saying, “wasn’t Frank Sinatra his era”.
My Friday versions of SIMON SAYS are fast becoming the more relaxed side of my views on the LPG market, hopefully a little bit of fun, some nostalgia and soon some views on LPG, and life in general, from some of the galacticos of our industry. The nostalgia so far has been limited by how far I go back in the industry, which is to the very early 1980s, way back to some, not far enough to others.
In yesterday’s SIMON SAYS I started to explain, I hope as simply as possible, enough about how the ARB works so that you can all go out today and put the trade on, well at least understand why others are. For me it is a pricing relationship that will increasingly dominate the international trading world as more and more LPG is exported from the U.S. in the coming years. If exports do reach 40 million Mt this year, then the U.S. will be a hair’s breadth away from also taking over as the world’s leading export region.
In yesterday’s SIMON SAYS I explored how we should interpret the negative news coming out, seemingly all over the place, on the performance of the world economy, the increased likelihood of entering a period of recession, the impact this will have on demand, and what this will all mean for the LPG market.