LONDON, July 18 (Reuters) -
* Liquefied natural gas (LNG) brokerage Affinity Shipping said it had arranged the first LNG freight derivatives trade, settled against Baltic Exchange spot price assessments.
* The trade was between Total Gas & Power and Glencore and was arranged over-the-counter by Affinity Financial Products.
* Tight vessel availability last winter quadrupled charter rates which are a key component of spot LNG trade, dictating the way the super-cooled gas is transported.
* As LNG traders seek to build trade volumes their exposure to volatility in freight rates increases.
* "With liquidity increasing in the LNG market in recent years, freight has come under the spotlight as participants look to manage their exposure to vessel spot rates," said Benjamin Gibson, head of LNG derivatives at Affinity.
* "Using the Baltic Exchange's rate assessments we are able to help clients benchmark their freight exposure and develop a forward market for hedging price risk," he added. (Reporting by Nina Chestney. Editing by Jane Merriman)