Vafias says low oil prices harming LPG trades

2016 is unlikely to see much change in rates for smaller LPG carriers, says one of the sector’s leading names in an exclusive interview with Splash.

Harry Vafias, ceo of Greece’s StealthGas said the low price of oil would likely keep a lid on LPG demand.

“We need higher oil prices, hopefully closer to $50 to $60 per barrel,” he said. He also noted that 20% of the 3,000 to 8,000 cu m LPG fleet is now over 20 years of age. “These ships need to go,” Vafias said.

“My forecast is that the market wont change much this year and we will see gradual improvement from 2017 onwards,” Vafias predicted.

Vafias was speaking just after releasing his firm’s 2015 results with StealthGas notching a net profit of $2.6m, down from 2014’s figure of $12.7m.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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