LNG charter rates remain low after January surge

Spot charter rates for the global LNG carrier fleet are still low following an unbelievable rise in January when they reached a record high of $322,500 per day.

According to Spark Commodities, the freight rates “remain low as a combination of weak cargo prices and high vessel availability persist.”

LNG freight rates reached $19,750 a day in the Atlantic on Tuesday. The change since January’s high in the Atlantic is over $300,000 per day, Spark said.

Prior to this assessment, they hit a new low of $16,750 per day on March 5, it said.

However, despite the recent volatility, the rates will rise again to their normal levels, but they will also increase year-on-year as demand picks up again, according to Drewry.

Drewry said in a recent report it expects spot LNG charter rates for a TFDE vessel to average $69,000 per day in 2021, up 11 percent from last year.

Companies with higher proportion of steam turbine vessels will not benefit as much since the demand for steam turbine LNG vessels continues to decline with deliveries of more advanced X-DF LNG vessels, Drewry said.

Moreover, the consultancy expects about 76 LNG vessels to join the global fleet in 2021, adding that about 20% of these ships don’t have any long-term contract.

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