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LNG tanker rates flat despite Japan earthquake

Spot rates stable as market assesses demand; shipping capacity tight; long-term charters expected to rise

LNG spot tanker rates are flat, despite the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan last week, as the market tries to assess the country's near-term demand. Although Japan is likely to import more LNG for power generation to compensate for a long-term loss of nuclear capacity, residential and business demand for electricity is expected to remain low in the short-term, while the country battles against a nuclear disaster and starts to recover from the largest quake on record. Although one report said ship owners were asking $100,000 a day for spot LNG tankers, market sources said no deals had been done at this rate. Fees were around $70,000/d before the quake and the LNG shipping

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