LNG carrier market would wince in a short term until 2014, but make an upturn again after 2015, while very large LPG gas carrier segment is expected to kick into high gear from earlier next year.
DNB prospected that LNG charter rate would continue to be steady until the mid 2013, which would slow down by 2014 but not further down to the rate seen in 2011.
Since it saw massive orders totalling around 50 vessels in 2011, LNG carrier segment is predicted to grow again this year. Researcher Lee Sok-Je of JP Morgan forecasted about 40 LNG carriers would be newly ordered in 2013, more than those contracted in 2012. Also, he expected due to several LNG export plants in the world scheduled to be completed in 2015-2017, demand for additional newbuilding LNG carriers would boost more orders in 2014, comparing with this year.
Newbuilding prices of LNG carrier would rise by 12-13% year-on-year up to around $220m apiece in the end of 2013, comparing with $195m-197m marked in the end of 2012, Lee projected.
VLGC charter rate would start a full-fledged growth from the first half of 2014. Tomza Group of Mexico is said to have placed an order for one 82,000-cbm VLGC at Hyundai Heavy Industries in Korea with delivery slated for 2014 in December 2012.
A total of 11 VLGCs were estimated to be contracted in 2012 and set the highest record ever, which added its orderbook to become about 21 vessels.
Meanwhile, according to Clarkson, overall 35 newbuilding LNG carriers were contracted in 2012 (50 vessels booked in 2011), while LPG carriers saw 51 orders (23 vessels in 2011). Clarkson Newbuilding Price Index, as of the end of December, 160,000-cbm LNG carrier and 82,000-cbm VLGC posted $199.5m and $70m each.
Three LNG carriers and 43 LPG carriers hit the water last year. At the end of 2012, orderbook of LNG carrier and LPG carrier stood at 85 vessels and 94 vessels each.
Three LNG carriers with average ages of 39.9 years and 16 LPG carriers, 31.1years in average, were sold for demolition in 2012.
LNG fleet, as of the end of 2012, stood at 53.2m cbm (372 vessels), up by 0.4% on the previous year, but it is expected to grow by 6.6% in 2013 and 7.5% in 2014 due to massive newbuilding deliveries.
As for LPG carrier, overall tonnage at the end of 2012 increased by 1.7% year-on-year to 19.9m cbm (1,240 vessels). LPG fleet would post 4.7% and 4.9% growth rate in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Among them, large-size LPG-carrier fleet over 60,000 cbm accounted for 11.5m cbm (144), up by 1.4% on the previous year. Its fleet is predicted to increase by 5.6% and 5.0% in 2013 and 2014 each.
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