August 9, 2023 [Riviera]- The LNG trade has received welcome support from countries and regions looking to secure energy suppliers, which has boosted H1 2023 figures.
Overall, in the opening half of 2023, the landscape of LNG trade displayed a remarkable robustness, according to insights from Clarkson Research Services (CRS).
CRS research director Trevor Crowe’s analysis of vessel port calls in the first half of 2023 revealed the LNG trades’ concentration on a relatively small number of terminals compared with other shipping sectors.
In the first half of 2023, LNG carriers made appearances at 365 ports, and a remarkable 70% of the cumulative port call volume was concentrated in the top 50 ports.
This compares with the tanker sector, where the top 50 terminal destinations accounted for just over 45% of the traffic volume.
On the earnings side, LNG one-year timecharter rate assessment for a 160,000-m3 DFDE unit surged to an impressive US$120,000 per day by the end of June 2023, an increase from the previous year-long average of US$100,000 per day.
The LNG carrier fleet continued to expand in the first half of 2023, and by the close of June 2023, the composition of the LNG carrier fleet painted an intriguing picture, comprising of 725 vessels, aggregating an impressive capacity of 108.6M m3. Notably, steam turbine propulsion systems still constitute 31% of the overall capacity.
An analysis of the newbuilding sector over a more extended timeframe reveals that since the start of June 2020, a substantial 346 LNG carriers have been commissioned, with a massive 184 vessels in 2022 alone.
The rationale driving this robust trend is firmly rooted in a confluence of factors, underpinned by LNG project approvals and boosted by mounting apprehension about energy security, further amplified by LNG’s pivotal role in the ongoing energy transition.
Drawing a more focused lens on the unfolding events in 2023, a substantive 28 LNG carriers, collectively valued at a US$7Bn, had been ordered by the end of June and the cumulative orderbook eclipsed 50% of the existing LNG fleet capacity.
In the regasification sector, Europe emerges as a key focal point, accentuated in the wake of the Ukrainian conflict, and this region has chartered 12 floating storage and regasification units.
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