A few laden Yamal LNG-chartered vessels that were earlier signalling their arrival at ports in France and Spain are waiting for orders to sail to new destinations suggesting a pre-emptive move by Yamal LNG ahead of a possible ban by the EU on Russian ships entering its ports.
The Russian war in Ukraine is in its seventh day and financial sanctions on Russian individuals and banks are set to cripple the financial sector. Energy exports have not been the target of sanctions and even though the effect has made buyers and shippers wary, trade volumes have been unmoved so far as current loadings would have traded and had vessels fixed before the invasion. But, with Urals hitting a new record discount to Brent, finding buyers over the coming weeks is set to become increasingly difficult.
With spot LNG prices trading at record highs and roughly three times higher than last winter, plant operators have had a financial incentive to push output at liquefaction plants this winter.