Mekaines q-max lng carrier

Mekaines, a Q-Max LNG carrier with 266k cbm of LNG cargo capacity. Image: QatarGas

(Bloomberg) — Demand to ship liquefied natural gas declined last quarter as export volumes shrank, according to RS Platou Markets AS, the investment-banking unit of Norway’s largest shipbroker.

Cargoes declined 3.7 percent in the year’s first two months, while trade between countries in the Atlantic and the Pacific, the main source of spot demand, dropped 10 percent from a year earlier, Frode Moerkedal, an Oslo-based analyst at Platou, said in an e-mailed report today. Ships that carry the fuel are earning $95,000 a day as 93 percent of the fleet is busy, a decline of 1 percentage point, he said.

Spot earnings peaked at $150,000 a day in June, Platou data show. Production problems in Algeria, Indonesia and Nigeria while a new facility was delayed in Angola reduced shipping demand, Moerkedal said. The market may improve after the summer if Nigeria and Angola raise their output, according to the report.

“Whether production problems can be overcome is the key for an improvement going forward,” Moerkedal said in the report. “Should both Angola and Nigeria LNG production increase, the momentum for LNG shipping may turn again after the summer.”

– Isaac Arnsdorf, Copyright 2013 Bloomberg.

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