Charter rates tumble
Shipping charter rates for LNG carriers in the spot market have plunged for a third week by up to $24,500 dollars per day. Rates were quoted at an average of between $87,000 per day and $83,000 per day for vessels of between 155,000-165,000 cubic capacity in the West of Suez market. In the East of Suez charter market, rates were offered for ships at between $82,000 per day and $78,000 per day, according to various brokers. One-year time charters for the most modern vessels were available for around $49,000 per day.
Japan LNG appeal
Japanese utility and liquefied natural gas buyer Kyushu Electric Power in late January issued a statement saying it was urgently seeking cargoes for its gas-fired plants. “As an emergency measure, we have begun buying 2,000-4,000 tonnes of LNG left in carriers in Asia after having discharged their cargoes to secure our fuel,” said the utility in reference to the heel left in tankers to maintain cool-down. Kyushu Electric, based in the city of Fukuoka in the southernmost Japanese island, said it was also asking other Japanese power companies to swap deliveries if possible. Benchmark power prices in Japan have reached a record high of 232.20 Japanese yen ($2.23) per kilowatt hour. Other Japanese utilities have asked customers to try and save power usage because of gas shortage.