LNG shipping market primed for growth

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    LONDON- Liquefied natural gas (LNG) ships are set to receive an earnings boost from restocking demand after colder conditions drove a scramble for supplies and record high freight rates, a top LNG tanker player said.

    A cold snap in Europe and Asia in January and in North America last month increased heating demand, prompting prices to jump in several markets, while inventories fell.

    “You need to replenish stocks because of the cold northern hemisphere winter in both Asia and in Europe. So, we think this is going to add to ton miles,” GasLog Partners chief executive Paul Wogan told Reuters.

    Ton miles are an indicator of shipping demand, measuring transported cargo volume multiplied by distance.

    LNG tanker rates in January hit record highs of over $320,000 a day, with some charters concluded at around $350,000 a day, estimates from shipping sources showed.

    Average earnings have fallen to around $20,000 a day on some routes, Baltic Exchange data showed.