LNG orderbook at an all-time high

The LNG orderbook now stands at an all-time high, according to data from Cleaves Securities. The orders have been flying in, mainly to Korean yards, over the past six months, led by the Greeks with rates towards the end of last year climbing above $200,000 a day. Despite the record orderbook, Cleaves noted in its most recent weekly report that the orderbook is still only 23% of the extant fleet (see charts below).

Splash reported the latest gas ship orders today, with Maran Gas Maritime inking a contract with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering for a pair of 174,000 cu m ships. Samsung Heavy Industries last week announced a sizeable gas order contract for four LNG carriers from an unspecified owner.

The volume of LNG ships now exceeds the peak of 2004/05 when Qatar’s Nakilat initiated its giant 60+-ship fleet plan, ordering a series of Q-Flex and Q-Max ships at yards in South Korea. Qatari authorities have let it be known this month that the country has been touring yards in Asia, readying another mammoth order of between 50 to 60 ships.

In a report from last month Cleaves said the huge volume of orders seen over the past 12 months were a “cause for concern”, predicting a cyclical peak for the sector coming as early as next year.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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