Nippon Yusen K.K. (9101), the world’s largest publicly traded operator of liquefied petroleum gas ships, surged the most in more than four years in Tokyo after a record weekly advance in rates for carrying the cargo.
Nippon Yusen rose 11 percent, the biggest gain since October 2008, to close at 295 yen as of the 3 p.m. end of trading in Tokyo. Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. (9107), Japan’s second- and third-biggest shipping lines, increased 7.6 percent and 6 percent respectively. All three companies are based in Tokyo.
LPG rates jumped 28 percent last week, the largest weekly rally based on data going back to 2005, according to the Baltic Exchange, a London-based publisher of shipping prices. The U.S. is shipping more LPG than ever as a byproduct of record natural gas output, Energy Department data show.
“The jump in rates for carrying LPG is giving Nippon Yusen a boost,” said Ryota Himeno, an analyst at Barclays Securities Japan Ltd. “It backs up Nippon Yusen’s decision to invest in a U.S. LPG terminal.”
Nippon Yusen, Mitsui & Co., and Mitsubishi Corp. (8058) said last week that they will jointly take a one-third stake in a U.S. liquefied natural gas export facility to be built in Louisiana. Construction of the plant is to begin next year, with the first phase slated to start operating in the second half of 2017, according to Sempra Energy (SRE), which will retain 50.2 percent of the project.
Natural gas futures rose the most in almost three weeks May 17, after the U.S. conditionally approved a Texas LNG project. The Freeport LNG export project gained only the second approval from the Energy Department to export gas to nations that don’t have free-trade agreements with the U.S.
Nippon Yusen operated 3.8 million cubic meters of LNG carrying capacity as of March, making it the largest listed carrier based on figures from the company.
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