Qatar delivered 12 more LNG cargoes in the first two months of 2023 compared to same period in 2022, according to Doha-based Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF).
The number of LNG shipments in the first two months of 2023 reached 1,047, up 4% (or 41 more) than during the same period in 2022, GECF said in its latest monthly report.
In February 2023, the LNG spot charter rate for steam turbine carriers averaged $34,600 per day, which was 36% lower month-on-month (m-o-m), but 111% higher year-on-year (y-o-y).
Spot charter rates usually observe a seasonal increase at the end of the year, as demand for LNG grows for the upcoming winter. In 2022, the same factors were at play, coupled with further tightness in the market due to European buyers purchasing cargoes as floating storage, resulting in extremely elevated charter rates, GECF said.
“As the winter season commenced, these floating cargoes began to be discharged, freeing up carriers and reducing spot charter rates. Additionally, the mild winter conditions helped to ease gas demand somewhat, contributing to fewer inter- basin flows, and thus charter rates softening even further, from January into February,” GECF noted.
The average price of the leading shipping fuels in February 2023 was $610 per tonne, which was unchanged from the previous month, and 14% lower y-o-y.
The impact of decreases in LNG spot charter rates and delivered spot LNG prices, resulted in a net decrease in the LNG shipping cost, by up to $0.53/MMBtu compared with the previous month, it said.
When compared with the same month one year ago, in February 2023 charter rates were greater, but fuel prices and delivered spot LNG prices were lower than in 2022, resulting in LNG shipping costs up to $0.33/MMBtu lower.
In February, 1.47 Mtpa of liquefaction capacity were impacted by planned an unplanned outages, which was down from 2.03 Mtpa of liquefaction capacity that were impacted in February, GECF noted.
At a project level, the Freeport LNG facility in the US was impacted by the unplanned outage in February, while the Skikda LNG facility in Algeria was undergoing planned maintenance activities. Meanwhile, the force majeure on feedgas supply to the liquefaction facility in Nigeria, which was declared in January, remained in effect in February as well, GECF said.