TradeWinds: Poten sees LNG ship supply-demand gap slimming

10 May, 2017: “Spot charter rates for LNG carriers could remain low this year but global trade growth is signalling that the supply-demand gap for vessels could shrink to just 20 ships, according to shipbroker Poten & Partners.”

“Poten says that assuming the 1.3x shipping demand multiplier, this level of LNG trade “implies a demand of 385 vessels compared to a conventional LNG carrier fleet of 405 vessels”, adding, “not a comfortable margin of vessel surplus for most charterers”.”

“While the obvious answer is ship “oversupply”, Poten says it is key to differentiate between those vessels available for employment periods of one year or more. The broker calculates there are 46  not including those in lay-up, of these “structural” available vessels, with the figure expected to grow to 55 by the year-end as charters expire.”

“They contrast this with LNG carriers genuinely available on a spot basis, including those re-chartered out by their owners. Poten says these numbers have grown from 37 ships at the beginning of this year to 46 as vessels have come off charter.”

“Using structural availability as a guide for future spot vessel availability, spot charter rates could remain low throughout the year,” Poten says.”

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