Seaborne oil and gas trade in Asia has faced growing disruptions in the past week due to the coronavirus, or Covid-19, an outbreak in China including delayed shipments, longer port queues, and logistical bottlenecks, according to several shipping indicators.
As buyers, sellers and trading intermediaries struggle to cope with the impact of the outbreak, which showed few signs of abating, market participants expect the oil and gas supply chain to continue to see demurrage being paid for late deliveries and last-minute trade diversions in coming weeks.
“Since the beginning of February, we have spotted 14 LNG vessels, initially expected to deliver their cargoes in the Far East, to have diverted,” Nathalie Leconte, LNG market analyst at data intelligence firm Kpler said.
Leconte said more than half of these LNG carriers are expected to deliver their cargoes to other regions like the UK, Turkey, Bangladesh, Kuwait, and India, while six of them were still expected to deliver their cargoes to ports in the Asia Pacific.
In addition to these 14 vessels, two other LNG carriers — BW Lilac and Diamond Gas Orchid — were initially headed towards the East of Suez from the US, but were diverted and are currently expected to deliver their cargoes to France instead, Leconte added.
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