Register with us today

and in less than 60 seconds continue your access to: Latest news headlines Analytical topics and features Commodities videos, podcast & blogs Sample market prices & data Special reports Subscriber notes & daily commodity email alerts

Already have an account?

Log in to register

Forgot Password

Enter your Email ID below and we will send you an email with your password.

  • Email Address* Please enter email address.

If you are a premium subscriber, we are unable to send you your password for security reasons. Please contact the Client Services team.

If you are a Platts Market Center subscriber (, Please navigate to Platts Market Center to reset your password.

In this list

Soaring prices, tight supply drive LNG tanker speeds to near 3-year high: Platts Analytics

Energy | Natural Gas | LNG | Oil | Refined Products

Interview: Satvinder Singh, Enterprise Singapore

Shipping | Marine Fuels

Platts Bunkerworld

Oil | Refined Products | Fuel Oil | Shipping | Dry Freight | Marine Fuels | Tankers

Mediterranean Bunker Fuel Conference, 7th Annual


Maersk Oil Trading takes delivery of Singapore's first ULSFO stem by MFM

Soaring prices, tight supply drive LNG tanker speeds to near 3-year high: Platts Analytics

Average LNG tanker speeds have raced to the highest since February 2015 and voyage length has shortened dramatically as sellers seek to capitalize on surging spot prices, a S&P Global Platts LNG market outlook report released Wednesday said.

Not registered?

Receive daily email alerts, subscriber notes & personalize your experience.

Register Now

Global LNG tanker speeds have risen to over 12 knots in December, above the average range of 11.3-11.6 knots recorded across April to September this year, data by PIRA Energy Group, a unit of Platts, shows.

This trend has been driven by midstream LNG traders arranging faster and shorter voyages for deliveries amid seasonally strong spot prices.

"With so much money on the line and wholesale pricing in Asia eclipsing $11/MMBtu, cargo owners are incentivized to churn their tankers as much as possible to cover increasing costs, but also the prospect of increased margins per cargo," said PIRA analysts, including Ira Joseph and Madeline Jowdy, in the report.

The analysts estimated that tanker speeds from liquefaction to regasification terminal range between 19 knots and 21 knots, depending on how modern the vessel is.

Higher chartering rates have also led to a higher number of shorter haul deliveries. Platts assessed LNG carrier day rate in Asia Pacific at $85,000/day Wednesday, up from the year-low of $25,000/day in April.

The higher charter rates have boosted the cost of long-haul deliveries, with PIRA estimating that the cost of delivering a cargo from Sabine Pass to Beijing has risen by $1/MMBtu as a result.

"High market pricing can change not just tanker directions to capture arbitrage opportunities, but also in terms of getting fuel from point A to B," PIRA said.

For example, the world's largest LNG exporter Qatar has benefited from a strategic geographical location where it can flexibly deliver to countries in South Asia, the Middle East and the Mediterranean.

A third of Qatari cargoes in December are headed to India or Pakistan, which takes three or four days to deliver as opposed to China which takes on average over 17 days, according to PIRA.

"Qatar is likely receiving lower delivered prices to South Asia, but the shorter haul is offsetting the netback effect of capturing lower prices," PIRA said.

This efficiency gain should serve Qatar well during peak winter demand season, but possibly meant losing market share to other exporting countries like Australia, into premium Asian markets, PIRA noted.

The Platts JKM for cargoes to be delivered in February was assessed at $11.20/MMBtu Wednesday, 95 cents/MMBtu higher than the DES West India assessment.

--Kenneth Foo,
--Edited by Irene Tang,