LNG shipping rates hit all-time high ahead of winter traffic

LONDON, Nov 6 (Reuters) -

* The cost of shipping liquefied natural gas (LNG) has hit $200,000 a day, exceeding a 2012 peak of $180,000 a day

* The headline average is $170,000 for Asia Pacific, according to analysts at Jefferies, up around 20 percent from two weeks ago

* The headline average for the Atlantic Basin remains around $140,000 a day

* This compares to an average of around $80,000 to $85,000 a day in both basins at the end of last year, at the height of winter, according to the IGU.

* LNG shipping rates tend to go up during the Northern Hemisphere winter and summer when gas is used for heating or cooling.

* But rates have also jumped due to supply from new plants, longer distances travelled and anticipation of higher prices prompting shippers to lock in longer-duration contracts.

* A recovery in the shipping rates from about three years of depressed levels has begun to boost earnings of LNG shipping companies such as Gaslog, Golar and Hoegh .

Reporting by Sabina Zawadzki; Editing by Adrian Croft