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Price Assessment

Platts LNG freight assessments

  • What are the LNG shipping and ballast rate assessments?
  • How does Platts assess LNG shipping and ballast rates?
  • How many companies does Platts communicate with for the LNG shipping and ballast rates?
  • What is going on in LNG Freight derivatives?

What are the LNG shipping and ballast rate assessments?

Platts publishes Asia Pacific LNG Carrier Day Rate, Atlantic (APDR), Atlantic LNG Carrier Day Rate (ATDR), Asia Pacific LNG Ballast Rate and Atlantic LNG Ballast Rate on a daily basis.


Platts launched the APDR and ATDR in June 2010. Platts continues to enhance its LNG freight methodology in line with market changes. Recent changes include revision of Platts shipping assumptions in January 2016, adding new freight routes via the Panama Canal in July 2016 and the launch of freight routes into the Middle East in February 2017. Platts launched the Asia Pacific LNG Ballast Rate and Atlantic LNG Ballast Rate in July 2018 and added port costs into shipping calculations at the same time. Platts added 12 new freight routes from the Malaysian Peninsula in May 2019.


The Carrier Day Rates reflect the daily hire rates for chartering a modern Tri Fuel Diesel Engine (TFDE) vessel for a short period in the Atlantic and Pacific basins, loading 25 to 45 days ahead of the day of assessment.


The Ballast Rates reflect the value typically charged by ship-owners to charterers to position and reposition vessels for a spot voyage. Platts assesses this as a percentage and is incorporated into its calculations for the return legs of freight route costs. The rates replace the old practice of assuming round-trip economics at 100% of Day Rates for all voyages.

How does Platts assess LNG shipping and ballast rates?

Platts assesses LNG shipping day rates and ballast rates in the Atlantic and Pacific basins for modern vessels. These reflect the headline hire rate and ballasting economics of a spot fixture.


The assessments are compiled using market data collected from active market participants (including LNG ship owners, charterers and ship brokers) that is then published as "market heards” via the Platts real-time service, Natural Gas Alert (NGA). These market heards contain as many details as possible about the fixture, including the name of the vessel and charterer. These market heards are published in order to ensure market participants can react to, and scrutinize, market information being considered in the assessment process. Platts also reports multi-month fixtures and vessel requirements, as market participants deem this information useful.


Platts assessments normalize for the vessel capacity, fuel consumption, timing/delivery dates, and charter duration. For example, when Platts hears a fixture for a Steam vessel, Platts normalizes it to a TFDE day-rate equivalent value by considering the difference in fuel-economics between the engines and considering market-tested differentials between these two types of propulsion.


LNG shipping and ballast rates, JKM, and bunker prices act as daily-assessed inputs for the calculation of modelled freight cost value, in $/MMBtu, for voyages from 16 different load ports to nine different discharge ports.


For more details about Platts standards please refer to our LNG methodology and specifications guide.


APDR, ATDR, Asia Pacific LNG Ballast Rate, and Atlantic LNG Ballast Rate, as well as the $/MMBtu route assessments, are available on NGA as well as the LNG Daily publication.

How many companies does Platts communicate with for the LNG shipping and ballast rates?

Platts communicates directly with sources at LNG ship owners, charterers and ship brokers.


Platts does not take into account information from a single segment of the market, i.e. only from ship owners, but seeks to canvass market inputs from as wide a cross-section of the market as possible.


On a daily-basis, Platts focuses communication on active LNG spot shipping market participants.


The number of companies that actively contribute to the assessment process totalled over 38 companies as of May 2019.

What is going on in LNG Freight derivatives?

Some market participants have voiced the need for a potential LNG freight paper market. The reasons include the high cost of LNG shipping relative to the delivered price of the cargo, high volatility of LNG freight, as observed over Q418, for example, and the seasonality in spot pricing.


Methodology and Specifications

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