Braemar ACM Shipbroking has released comments by its Senior LNG Analyst, Evangelos Dimopoulos, reviewing achievements in the LNG industry over the past year, and presenting forecasts and predictions for 2019.
“The LNG shipping market has become significantly tighter compared to the last few year and spot rates have hit multi year highs in 4Q18. Supported by healthy LNG demand and supply fundamentals and limited vessel availability in the spot market, we expect the LNG freight market in 2019 to remain strong and that trend to continue into 2020.
LNG trade in 2018 looks likely to have grown by 10% compared to 2017, reaching 320 million tonnes by the end of the year. The robust LNG trade growth in 2018 reflects ongoing infrastructure expansion with a total of 32 million tonnes coming online this year mainly in the US, Australia and Russia.
Growth of LNG trade should remain strong, increasing by a further 8% during 2019 reaching 345 million tonnes. Approximately 33 million tonnes of liquefaction capacity is expected to come online in 2019. With the destination clause removed from the LNG contracts, meaning that cargoes can be re-routed and re-exported, we expect LNG trade to become more spot based and the LNG market more liquid in the coming years.
The LNG carrier fleet continued to expand rapidly in 2018, 547 vessels of a combined 85 million m3 are expected to be on water by the end of the year, representing a 9% growth in carrying capacity. Contracting has also picked up during 2018 with 57 newbuild orders taking place, and attracting new players coming into the market. Forty nine vessels are expected to enter the market in 2019, with a combined carrying capacity of 7.8 million m3. Fleet growth is expected to be slightly slower than global liquefaction capacity growth next year. In recent years fleet growth has remained dominated by the largest vessels of 165 000+ m3.”
Read the article online at: https://www.lngindustry.com/liquid-natural-gas/27122018/the-lng-industry-in-review-2018-2019/