Stronger than expected LNG import growth in NE Asia has provided a welcome boost for LNG shipping demand. But sadly for ship owners, the increase in trade has not been reflected with a big increase in charter rates. Year-on-year LNG imports into China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan increased a staggering 14.5 million tonnes in the first eight months of 2017 year-on-year. To put this huge increase into context, the world’s fourth largest LNG importer – India - imports were just 11.7 Mt over the same period. Key for LNG shipping demand, long-haul imports from the Atlantic Basin (including the US Gulf) into NE Asia almost doubled. However, the delivery of new LNG ships has outpaced LNG shipping demand. This has kept a lid on spot/short-term charter rates.