Atlantic LNG freight rates continue downward trend

Spot charter rates for the global LNG carrier fleet in the Atlantic basin are continuing to drop due to high vessel availability, according to Spark Commodities.

Both the Atlantic and Pacific rates for 160,000-cbm TFDE carriers fell below $100,000 per day in January, continuing their drop since posting record highs in October last year.

“Spark30S Atlantic LNG Freight rates fall for the 12th week in a row, ending the week at $55.750/day,” Spark said on Friday.

“Despite these declines rates remain substantially above last February’s levels when LNG freight round trip rates were about to turn negative,” the Singapore-based firm said.

The ongoing delays with the restart of the Freeport LNG facility is one of the main reasons behind the drop in Atlantic LNG rates.

Also, mild winter weather in Europe and full storages pushed down gas prices in Europe.

European LNG imports surged last year as European countries look to boost energy security and replace pipeline gas from Russia.

Most of these volumes came from the US, including from the Freeport LNG facility prior to its shutdown due to the incident on June 8.

It remains to be seen how the restart of the 15 mtpa Freeport LNG facility would affect the freight rates.

Last week, Freeport LNG received approval to start introducing LNG to the third train as part of the restart process.

Freeport LNG also sought approval from FERC to load LNG ships from its Dock 1 LNG berth.

According to their AIS data, there were at least three LNG tankers anchored late on Sunday offshore Quintana Island, where the LNG facility is located.

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