GLOBAL LNG-Asian price falls to 17-month low as trade moves west

  • Reuters
  • Commodities News
GLOBAL LNG-Asian price falls to 17-month low as trade moves west

* Subdued trade in Asia-Pacific moves price to 17-month low

* India, Pakistan, Kuwait seek to buy cargoes

* European prices fall, more arrivals expected

By Ekaterina Kravtsova

LONDON, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Asian spot prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG) dipped to a 17-month low on subdued trading activity in Asia-Pacific due to a week-long Chinese New Year holiday and a number of new supply offers on the market.

Spot prices for March delivery to northeast Asia are estimated at around $6.80 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), down $0.20/mmBtu from the previous week. This is the lowest level since September 2017, Refinitiv Eikon data showed.

Spreads between global LNG delivery prices remain tight, with expectations of a further rise in arrivals into Europe.

"Some people keep optimising (LNG volumes in the Far East), but fresh demand remains low," an LNG trader said.

Significant demand came from India however.

Gujarat State Petroleum Corp (GSPC) is looking to buy 12 cargoes for delivery between April 2019 and March 2020 open until Feb. 19. LNG opened this week a tender for six cargoes for delivery in May and June open until March 11. Petroleum Corp (KPC) IPO-KUWP.KW closed on Tuesday a tender for delivery on Feb. 26-27. The tender could be awarded as low as $6.01-$6.50/mmBtu, one trade source said.

On the supply side, Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) ADNOC.UL closed on Thursday a tender for a cargo for loading at its Das Island plant on March 10-12. LNG is offering until Feb. 12 a cargo from the Soyo plant for delivery between late February and mid-March depending on the destination.

In Europe, PetroChina International (London) 0857.HK offered at least two cargoes from its Yamal equity offtake for delivery in northwest Europe on March 3-5 and March 28-29, with the sale expected to close next week.

Yamal volumes into Europe have been above those from the United States this month so far, a change in a trend from last month. Britain expects to receive three LNG cargoes from Yamal until mid-February, two of which are sold by Russian producer Novatek NVTK.MM to Swiss-based trader Vitol VITOLV.UL , sources said.

Gas prices in Europe edged down.

The best bid this week for delivery of LNG into northwest Europe was at a $0.18/mmBtu discount to the Dutch front-month gas price, a trader said.

In Spain, prices were even lower, at around $0.20-0.25/mmBtu below the Dutch price, the source said.

"Such a discount to (the Dutch price) is a sign of a very weak market," the trader said.

LNG send-outs in Iberia jumped this week, Refinitiv Eikon data showed, with little space left in Spanish terminals for fresh arrivals.

The number of cargoes from the United States has been so far much lower this month than in January, with five cargoes expected to reach Europe between Feb. 6 and Feb. 21. In January, 19 U.S. cargoes were delivered to Europe.

Loadings from Gulf of Mexico plants in the U.S. have been delayed by heavy fog. Corpus Christi and Sabine Pass Train 5 are still in a commissioning phase. When both issues are resolved, U.S. exports to Europe are likely to rise, which is expected in late February and March, an industry source said.

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