Transportation of liquefied gas remain one of the few segments of the global shipping market, which reported growth in 2015. The volume of maritime transport of LPG increased by 9% in 2015 to 78 million tons, which is mostly due to the steady growth of exports from USA and the increasing demand in China and India. The volume of LNG supply grew by 2.5% in 2015 to 245.2 million tons, but LNG market is under pressure from weak demand in Northeast Asia. Japan and South Korea reduce LNG exports against the background of growth of energy production at nuclear and coal-fired power plants. On the other hand, pressure on rates enhanced the rapid growth of LNG supply, particularly as a result of commissioning of new production facilities in Australia.
On average in 2015, the spot freight LNG rate at VLGC was 88,508 USD per day, which is 15% higher than in 2014. Against this background, the profitability of operations in the LNG shipping market has declined in the past year. The spot rate on the gas carrier with a capacity of 160,000 cub m fell by 50% in 2014 to 36,038 USD per day, and in February 2016 was recorded at 27,750 USD per day.
According to analysts, demand remains a major challenge for the industry, which in the near future should be introduced about 44 million tonnes of new LNG production capacity, mainly in Australia and the USA. In general, the situation in 2015 saved the opening of new import markets – Egypt, Jordan and Pakistan, which in the past year, according to Wood Mackenzie’s 2015 LNG report, received 5.8 million tons of LNG.