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LNG Market Snapshot – July 2017 Australia Adrift on a Sea of LNG

The active global LNGC fleet grew to 449 vessels since January 2017 whilst the order book shrunk from  117 to 111 vessels. LNG trade is experiencing an uptick y-o-y although prices have not followed suit due to the sustained supply glut. LNG prices continue to hover just above $5/mmBtu in both the Pacific and the Atlantic basins, limiting the scope for arbitrage. The LNGC spot charter market also remains oversupplied, with fleet utilisation in general struggling to exceed 90% and even 70% for some operators. The LNGC fleet is set to be getting younger over the coming years as the number of newbuilds outpaces that of potential attrition candidates. Meanwhile, Australia’s relentless LNG export capacity growth has caused an acute gas shortage in Queensland. Still, we regard the Australian government’s planned export ban as counterproductive and make the case for long overdue import capacity to balance the country's “gas account”....

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