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Panama Canal reshapes LPG trade

Monday, November 20, 2017

Shipments are growing of liquefied petroleum gas, or LPG, from the United States to markets on the west coast of South America, as well as Asia, via the expanded Panama Canal.

Big gas tankers currently account for more than a third of new traffic, according to Natural Gas Intel.

Colombia, as well as Chile, plan to add port facilities to receive LPG imports.

With big ships able to transit the canal, LPG prices in Latin America are expected to fall.

Previously, LPG shipped from United States ports, mainly in the Gulf Mexico, had to travel travel around Cape Horn in order to reach Asia or the west coast of Latin America.

The United States is the world’s biggest LPG producer.

Butane and propane, the most common types of LPG, are by-products of the extraction of natural gas or oil, and of refining crude oil,.

The expanded Panama Canal went into operation in 2016.