Natural gas demand significantly drives shipping prices to break the record for the most expensive cargo ships in history

Factors such as the surge in demand for natural gas in the Asian market are making ships carrying liquefied natural gas "hard to find" and setting a new record for the most expensive commodity ships in history. Last week BP paid £350000 a day to hire a LNG tanker to pick up goods from the United States, according to Clarkson Research (Clarksons Research), a British shipbuilding and shipping dynamic analysis firm. The previous record for the world's most expensive cargo ship was £308000 a day set by a supertanker in 2019.

Clarkson's research data covers all commodity freighters and does not include container ships carrying finished goods. In terms of supply and demand, a surge in gas demand in Asia driven by a super cold wave, record US export expectations and a longer crossing of the Panama Canal are all factors contributing to tight capacity. Ships are now forced to take longer routes to Asia, increasing transport time while greatly limiting the number of ships available in the Atlantic Ocean.

Freight prices for LNG tankers have tripled in the past month, according to Spark Commodities. Per Christian Fett, director of the natural gas business of shipbroker Fearnleys Aamp S, said that the company has a lot of backlog of demand, but it is difficult to find a suitable ship. The same factors also drive up regional natural gas prices.

The benchmark LNG valuation of Japan and South Korea surged 32% to £28.22 per million British heat, setting a new record, according to Platts Energy Information on Monday.

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