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Extra Panama Canal Slot Unlikely to Boost LNG: BNEF


The additional daily slot for larger locks announced by the Panama Canal Authority will do little to boost LNG traffic through the waterway, according to BNEF.

  • BNEF estimates that a return USGC-North Asia journey through the Panama Canal will save just 16 cents/MMBtu compared to the journey via the Cape of Good Hope.
  • Spot charter rates are as low as just $34k/day.
  • Unless the shorter journey is needed for operational reasons, there is little incentive to use the Panama Canal.
  • An extra daily slot is available for Neopanamax locks from June 1, returning Neopanamax transit openings, to Nov. 2023 levels.
  • The added opening can be booked 14-8 days ahead, but container ships have first preference.
  • Winning bids at January slot auctions were 90% below November’s peak, and US LNG shipments via the Canal hit zero in Feb and two in March.

Source: BNEF

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