LNG Shipping Rates Fall to 19-Month Low as Winter Demand Ends

Rates to ship liquefied natural gas slid to the lowest in 19 months and will fall further as the end of winter fuel demand results in fewer bookings, according to Fearnley Securities AS.

Spot rates for LNG carriers fell 4.2 percent to $103,500 a day this week, according to Fearnley LNG, a shipbroker in Oslo. That’s the lowest since August 2011, and down 31 percent since June’s record highs, data show.

Vessels are available but few have been booked, Rikard Vabo, an analyst at Fearnley’s investment-banking unit, said in an e-mailed report today. Rates will extend their decline as the end of the Northern Hemisphere’s winter curbs demand for long-distance shipments to the biggest importers in Asia, he said.

“Despite some renewed interest in the market, limited fixtures have actually transpired and still a number of vessels available for requirements which continues to put some downward pressure on rates,” Vabo said in the report, citing Fearnley LNG. “With winter buying interest now truly behind us and as such less demand for long-haul voyages, spot rates will continue to face downward pressure in the near term.”

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