Global LNG - Asia spot prices plummet with European storage fill to 93%
SINGAPORE, (Reuters) - Asian spot prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG) slipped this week, as gas storage in Europe fills up and on higher U.S. supplies.
But the lower prices attracted some buying interest from Indian and Chinese companies, helping to keep a floor on prices.
Spot prices for October delivery to Northeast Asia <LNG-AS> are estimated to be about $4.30 to $4.50 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), down 20 to 40 cents from last week, said several sources that participate in the market.
November prices are estimated to be around $5.20 to $5.50 per mmBtu.
European storages are 93% full, according to data from GIE, with the Netherlands and Belgium at 96% and 97%, respectively while Britain's much smaller medium-term storage is 83% full.
According to data intelligence firm Kpler, there are currently five possible floating cargoes in the Atlantic basin with three of the cargoes sourced from the United States.
The Freeport LNG project in Texas shipped its first commissioning cargo earlier this week, with the tanker currently bound for Port Said in Egypt, according to shiptracking data from Refinitiv. The shipping data had initially shown the destination as Jebel Ali in the United Arab Emirates.
Loadings from the Papua New Guinea LNG plant also on Sept. 1, after it had stopped since Aug. 24, Refinitiv Eikon data showed. This was likely due to a temporary outage at the plant, traders said.
Australia's Ichthys and Angola LNG plants offered cargoes for late September to October, while Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Co (KUFPEC) likely sold a spot cargo for loading from the Wheatstone plant in Australia in October, traders added.
Russia's Novatek likely sold a Yamal cargo for Dec. 3 to six delivery into Europe at a fixed price on a delivered ex-ship (DES) basis, an industry source said.
Still, lower prices attracted spot buying from India and China with Indian Oil Corp, Reliance Industries, Guangzhou Gas and Kuwait Petroleum Corp seeking cargoes.
A massive tender by Taiwan's CPC Corp seeking 12 cargoes for delivery next year, also supported.
A spot tender by Pakistan LNG to buy 10 cargoes for delivery in the fourth quarter received strong interest from various companies including JERA Global Markets and PetroChina International (Singapore), according to a company document.
The continued expansion of natural gas trade is led primarily by growth in the LNG sector, which has tripled over the past 3 yr.
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