Global LPG Tanker Market is expected to witness strong growth over the forecast period on account of increasing LPG trade across various countries. Strong growth of shale gas production is further expected to boost LPG tankers demand over the next seven years. Volatile crude oil prices coupled with improvements in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing techniques resulted in major industries to shift their focus towards the production of oil & gas from shale rock. Shift in focus towards Shale gas production is further expected to augment market growth over the projected period. Increasing demand for LPG gas for residential purpose for cooking and heating applications is one of the key factors to drive the market over the past few years and the trend is expected to continue over the forecast period. Increasing trade relationships for shale gas between the U.S. and Asia Pacific region owing to decreased transportation cost is expected to spur demand for LPG tankers over the projected period. Volatile crude oil prices resulted in increasing demand for LPG from petrochemical industries, which is expected to fuel LPG tankers demand over the forecast period. However, volatile crude oil prices resulted in increased LPG prices resulting in weaker demand, which is expected to inhibit market growth over the forecast period.
Based on size, LPG tankers market can be segmented into very large gas carriers (VLGC), large gas carriers (LGS), medium gas carriers (MGC) and small gas carriers (SGC). Based on refrigeration and pressurization levels, LPG tankers are further segmented into ethylene (extra refrigeration), fully refrigerated, semi refrigerated, and fully pressurized. VLGCs are extensively used in shipping LPG gas for longer distances and across the countries. Increasing LPG trade relations between various countries including Middle East and Asia, West Africa and the U.S. and Europe, is the key factor to drive VLGC market. Increasing shale gas production and domestic LPG shipping is the key factor to drive MGC and LGC markets. Demand for SGCs is expected to witness lucrative growth over the next seven years owing to increasing LPG demand from residential applications.
North America, West Africa, The North Sea and Middle East are the major regional markets for LPG tankers owing to increasing exports of LPG to various countries including Asia Pacific and Europe. Middle East emerged as the largest market for LPG tankers followed by Asia Pacific. Asia Pacific market is expected to witness significant growth owing to strong demand for LPG from Japan, India, South Korea and China. Europe market is expected to witness considerable growth owing to increasing butane and propane gas imports for domestic heating.