Spot LNG freight rates continued to rise this week, Spark says

Spot charter rates for the global liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier fleet continued to increase this week, with the Pacific rate rising above $120,000 per day, according to Spark Commodities.

Last week, spot LNG freight in the Pacific broke $100,000 per day for the first time since early January, with the rate on the Spark25 route reaching $108,500 per day, while the spot rate on the Atlantic Spark30 route rose to $101,500 per day.

“Amidst the threat of Australian strikes easing slightly this week, bullish momentum in the LNG freight market continued, with LNG freight rising $14,250 per day this week to reach $122,750 per day on the Pacific Spark25 route,” Edward Armitage, Spark’s commercial analyst, told LNG Prime on Friday.

Meanwhile, the spot rate in the Atlantic Basin rose $12,750 per day week-on-week to reach $114,250 per day, he said.

As per European LNG pricing, SparkNWE for September deliveries decreased from the prior week.

“SparkNWE for Sep23 deliveries fell $1.621 this week to $9.941 per MMBtu tracking volatility in the TTF, with the NWE differential standing at a discount of $0.205 to the TTF,” Armitage said.

The TTF price for September settled at $10.180 per MMBtu on Thursday, while the JKM spot LNG price for October settled at $12.920 per MMBtu.

News of potential strikes at three Australian LNG terminals affected the TTF price during the last two weeks.

The Woodside-operated North West Shelf and the Chevron-operated Gorgon and Wheatstone LNG projects in Western Australia have a combined capacity of about 40.8 million tonnes of LNG per year and these terminals mostly supply Japan and South Korea.

Woodside and unions representing its workers at North West Shelf offshore gas platforms have reached an in-principle agreement on Wednesday.

The workers also endorsed the in-principle agreement after that, according to the Offshore Alliance, which includes the Maritime Union of Australia and Australian Workers’ Union.

However, unions representing downstream workers at the Chevron-operated Gorgon and Wheatstone LNG projects have voted to authorize a strike, the alliance said.

This allows the workers to go on strike with a seven-day notice period if they don’t reach an agreement with Chevron.

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