Spot LNG Shipping Rates Remain Steady, European Prices Climb for Third Week

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Spot charter rates for the global liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier fleet remained almost flat this week, while European prices increased for the third week in a row. Last week, Atlantic freight rates slightly increased after falling to their lowest levels reported since June 2023 in the prior week, reports LNG Prime.

US LNG exports round Cape of Good Hope

LNG freight rates have not been impacted despite the fact that LNG carriers are still avoiding the Suez Canal due to the situation in the Red Sea.

In addition, due to a drought situation impacting the Panama Canal, LNG transits through the waterway remain low and vessels are choosing other routes to deliver their cargoes.

Of the total US exports of 3.33 million mt delivered in March thus far, around 710,000 mt were delivered into Asia, with all volumes transiting through the Cape of Good Hope to reach their destination, according to data from S&P Global Commodity Insights.

European and Asian prices rise

In Europe, the SparkNWE DES LNG front month rose compared to the last week.

The NWE DES LNG for March delivery was assessed last week at $7.861/MMBtu.

Levels of gas in storages in Europe remain high due to a mild winter.

Data by Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) shows that gas storages in the EU were 59.88 percent full on March 13. Gas storages were 61.30 percent full on March 7, and 56.40 percent full on March 13 last year.

This week, JKM, the price for LNG cargoes delivered to Northeast Asia, rose slightly when compared to the last week, according to Platts data.

JKM for April settled at $8.490/MMBtu on Thursday.

State-run Japan Organization for Metals and Energy Security (JOGMEC) said in a report earlier this week that the JKM rose due to increased buying interest to meet short-term demand.

METI said that Japan’s LNG inventories for power generation as of March 10 stood at 1.83 million tonnes, down from 1.95 million tonnes in the previous week.

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Source: LNG Prime

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