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Ship broker Braemar says LNG boom means tanker tonnage is all booked up

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ondon shipping broker Braemar has reported “huge interest” in long-term charters of tankers for liquified natural gas as demand for the commodity “soaked up all available tonnage” with energy markets in flux after Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

The company, headquartered on the Strand,  acts as an intermediary between ship owners and cargo line operators as well as oil majors seeking clarity on transport costs.

The industry benefits when there is demand for longer-term hires locking in higher rates, with increased demand for moving LNG to markets previously supplied by piped Russian gas making it one of the winners from the energy crisis.  Alongside the strong dollar, buoyant LNG markets helped it lift its profit forecast for the current financial year to £20 million.

LNG tankers were “dominating” its orderbook for new vessels alongside containerships, with highs of almost $70 for benchmark LNG prices, compared with previous average process of between $7 and $12. 

The company reported profit for the year to February 28 up almost at third to £10.1 million, in results that were delayed as auditors and the board reviewed “the accuracy of certain foreign exchange and other balance sheet reserve accounts.”

Nigel Payne, chairman, said growth at the company depended on “a solid bedrock of accounting integrity” and the of the books for the last three years found “largerly historic errors” in the accounting of an acquisition and foreign exchange gains relating to a share disposal, which were identified and corrected.

“I regard it as essential that a full check on the integrity of these areas over the past three years has been carried out,” he added

Braemar’s order book rose 15% to £43 million.  It said compliance with sanctions on Russia after the Ukraine invasion was not expected to have a “material effect” on trading.

Shares in the company rose over 16% to 334p in London on Tuesday.

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