May 16 (Bloomberg) — Gas carriers accounted for the highest share of total shipping investment last year since 2005, according to Clarkson Plc, the world’s largest shipbroker.
Owners spent $9.1 billion on orders for vessels to haul liquefied natural gas and liquefied petroleum gases, amounting to 10 percent of total investment in 2012, the most in seven years, Sarinka Parry-Jones, an analyst at the London-based shipbroker, said in a report yesterday. In the first four months of 2013, $3.3 billion was invested in gas ships out of $21.9 billion in total, Clarkson estimates.
Increased demand to transport LPG from the Middle East and scheduled expansion of LNG output are leading to more ship orders, Parry-Jones said in the report. U.S. shale gas is also expected to add gas trade, she said. Vessel owners are also turning to gas because of weak returns for other ship types, making speculative orders, according to the report.
“The gas sector is clearly becoming a bigger part of the shipbuilding story,” Parry-Jones said in the report. “With a positive outlook for trade, it will be important to keep an eye on the how the sector’s contracting patterns continue to evolve.”
Copyright 2013 Bloomberg.