Spot charter rates for LNG carriers are trending sharply upwards amid a scarcity of available vessels and well in advance of the traditional peak winter demand period.

Brokers reported that as a result of the almost complete absence of available modern two-stroke LNG carriers charterers are turning their attention to diesel-electric and some of the more appealing steam turbine tonnage.

This week reports emerged of trader Vitol taking a two-stroke vessel to lift a cargo out of Nigeria.