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TIN news:   Following the Fukushima nuclear disaster and the resulting increase in LNG demand in 2012, the LNG carrier fleet was operating at a 98% utilisation rate and was on occasions able to charge record charter rates for spot cargoes of $150,000/day. Consequently this presented an opportunity for a profitable investment in LNG carriers. However, the delivery of significant numbers of carriers in 2013 and 2014, in combination with the delay of several liquefaction projects and slowing LNG demand in Asia, has led to a rapid decrease of charter rates to around $80,000/day in 2014. 2015 saw further dramatic decrease, and charter rates were more than halved by Q2 2015 to an average of $30,000/day as a result of fall in demand. Long term and spot charter rates in September were below $40,000/day and $25,000/day, respectively. In consequence, charter utilization rates have also fallen below 90%.
Nonetheless, the addition of substantial liquefaction capacity in Australia and North America over the next five years will drive spending on LNG carriers to transports these supplies, while the market will be further boosted by the need for increased flexibility in the LNG fleet, more long-haul LNG voyages and a growing spot market. Visiongain has calculated the global LNG carrier market will reach $7.693bn in 2016.

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