Pressurised LPG carrier owner Epic Gas is seeing signs of “green shoots” in the market even as it reports a wider Q2 loss.
Epic Gas reported a Q2 loss of $5.9m compared to a $900,000 loss in the same period a year earlier. For the quarter it reported revenues of $33.9m up 4% on the same quarter in 2016.
Despite the higher losses in Q2 compared to the previous year Epic Gas is seeing “green shoots” in the pressurised carrier market. “The quarter ended on a positive note with signs of a recovery from low market levels reached since the end of the seasonally stronger first quarter,” it said.
“Smaller pressurised vessels are benefitting from a strengthening market. Larger pressurised vessels continue to show signs of over- supply and, on some routes, are competing with handysize semi-refrigerated vessels.”
For second quarter of 2017 12 time charter rates for 3,500 cu m, 5,000 cu m and 7,500 cu m market rates averaged $6,266, $7,958, $10,608 per day, respectively, which the company described as a modest gain from Q1 2017 but with a “significant rise” of 12 – 14% for smaller vessels.
Epic Gas also saw a rise in LPG breakbulk operations. As a positive consequence of the considerable growth in demand for VLGC, we continue to be actively involved in a growing LPG break bulk trade, delivering LPG into the terminals and ports where the larger vessels are unable to operate,” it said.
“We carried out 122 ship to ship (STS) operations during the period, a 30% increase from the previous quarter. We see a growing trend of such operations in the Caribbean and off Africa.”
During Q2 Epic Gas had a fleet of 41 vessels with 268,900 cu m in capacity representing 16.1% of the international pressurised fleet, and 30% of 7,000 cu m vessels.