LNG freight rates, European prices drop this week

Spot charter rates for the global liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier fleet continued to decline this week, while European and Asian prices also dropped compared to the week before.

Last week, Spark30S Atlantic decreased to $108,500 per day, and the Spark25S Pacific decreased to $80,250 per day.

“LNG freight rates have fallen for the sixth consecutive week, with the Spark30S Atlantic, now assessed for 174,000-cbm 2-stroke vessels, falling below $100,000 per day this week for the first time in 5 months,” Qasim Afghan, Spark’s commercial analyst told LNG Prime on Friday.

Spot LNG shipping rates continue to decline
Image: Spark

Afghan said that the Atlantic rate decreased by $25,000 to $83,500 per day, whilst the Pacific rate decreased by $14,250 to $66,000 per day.

European prices drop

In Europe, the SparkNWE DES LNG front month also continued to drop this week.

The NWE DES LNG for February delivery was assessed last week at $9.872/MMBtu and at a $0.855/MMBtu discount to the TTF.

“The SparkNWE DES LNG price for February delivery is assessed at $9.081/MMBtu and at a $0.805/MMBtu discount to the TTF,” Afghan said.

He said this is a $0.791/MMBtu decrease since last week and a $6.93 (43 percent) decline since the front month winter peak on October 13, 2023.

Spot LNG shipping rates continue to decline
Image: Spark

Levels of gas in storages in Europe remain high for this time of the year.

Data by Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) shows that gas storages in the EU were 81.77 percent full on January 10.

Chinese LNG demand

In Asia, Chinese LNG buyers were on a spree late January 9 with some 6-8 cargoes changing hands following the sharp decline in Asia-Pacific spot prices, according to Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights.

Platts said in a report, citing sources, these 6-8 cargoes that traded in China were scheduled for delivery from end-January to early March at $9.60-$10.60/MMBtu.

Platts assessed on January 9 February JKM at $9.809/MMBtu, H1 February at $9.698/MMBtu, and H2 February at $9.920/MMBtu.

This week, JKM dropped when compared to the last week. JKM for February settled at $11.245/MMBtu on Thursday.

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