While he noted that supply growth is still high, factors such as fact that 50% of newbuilding orders have not even begun construction and the high possibility of cancellations at the Korean yards, where some 65% of LNG carrier newbuilding orders are concentrated, may help mitigate this, MANA correspondent reported.
"If cancellations at the yards do occur that will enhance the probability of a quicker recovery and address the issue of a large order book," he said.
In addition, there is also the possibility that demand may be able to keep up with supply. "We think there is sufficient LNG carrier demand in the next five years that can absorb the current oversupply and the order book and may even need some 40 newbuilding orders in the future," Anton said.
He also noted that LNG carriers would continue to be driven by both volume and ton-mile. In the case of the former LNG production is expected to double from 370 mtpa in 2016 to potentially 740 mtpa in 2020. Meanwhile the average LNG voyage is expected to increase by 12% in the same period, Anton said.
"Emerging Asian LNG markets will drive the growth," he reiterated. Countries such as Singapore, Thailand, Pakistan and Malaysia are all boosting their energy imports and while they make up a relatively small share of the market currently, they have the potential to become a major force in the future, Anton noted.