High spot market charter rates, still low newbuilding prices and robust trade growth has proved too tempting for ship owners to resist. Orders for new LNG ships in 2018 already exceed the 2017 total with 22 ships ordered to date (against 19 in all of 2017). Orders have come from both established LNG owners and new entrants to the sector. More orders look set to follow with one major Greek ship-owner keen to enter the LNG sector for the first time reported to have placed a Letter of Intent at Hyundai for four ships with options for a further six vessels. So far this year 31 new vessels have been added to the fleet and three have been scrapped. A further 27 are scheduled for delivery before the end of the year - if these vessels are delivered on time and no further vessels are removed from the fleet, capacity will grow by 13.0% in 2018. Details of the new orders and recent changes to the current fleet ownership and employment have been captured in our updated LNG fleet database Excel.