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AMSTERDAM: South Korea's Sinokor Merchant Marine, a shipping company, has hired a trader to open a desk trading physical liquefied natural gas (LNG), two industry sources said on Monday.

The trading desk, which is still being formed, will be located either in South Korea or Singapore, they said.

It is rare for a shipping company to trade physical LNG, although not unheard of. Shipping firm Golar LNG established an LNG trading arm in 2010 to 2012, but later shut the operation due to adverse market conditions.

Sinokor is primarily a container shipping company that began operating between South Korea and China in the 1980s. It now owns 13 LNG tankers, having scrapped two last year, according to industry group GIIGNL.

Copyright Reuters, 2019