GLOBAL LNG-Asian spot prices rise as LNG tankers diverted from Suez

  • Reuters
  • Commodities News
GLOBAL LNG-Asian spot prices rise as LNG tankers diverted from Suez
Credit: © Reuters.

* Seven LNG tankers diverted from Suez - Kpler

* Planned maintenance in Qatar boosting prices - trade

* Demand from Asia and Europe remains firm for re-stocking

By Jessica Jaganathan

SINGAPORE, March 26 (Reuters) - Asian spot prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG) rose this week on expected delays to delivery of cargoes as a big container ship stuck in the Suez Canal caused tankers to be diverted.

The average LNG price for May delivery into Northeast Asia LNG-AS was estimated at about $6.80 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), up 25 cents from the previous week, industry sources said.

Seven LNG tankers are being diverted away from the Suez Canal after traffic was suspended through the key waterway where the container ship has been stuck since Tuesday, data intelligence firm Kpler said. of the tankers are being diverted towards the longer route around the Cape of Good Hope, Kpler analyst Rebecca Chia said, adding that majority of the diverted tankers originally signalled for Suez Canal are now headed elsewhere.

The blockage may delay delivery to Europe of about 1 million tonnes of LNG on 10 vessels if it lasts for two weeks, researcher Rystad Energy said. planned maintenance in Qatar was also boosting prices, traders said.

"It's re-stocking season with buyers in Europe and Asia trying to restock inventories after the cold winter caused demand to spike," a Singapore-based trader said.

Spot demand from buyers in Asia was also firm this week, traders said.

South Korea's Komipo and POSCO issued a joint tender to buy a cargo for May delivery while Taiwan's CPC Corp is seeking a cargo also for May, they said.

Japan's Tohoku Electric likely bought two LNG cargoes at about $6.60 to $6.80 per mmBtu while Indian Oil (NS: IOC ) Corp bought a cargo for late April delivery at around $6.60 to $6.70, one source said.

China's Shenzhen Energy also bought a cargo for early May delivery at about $6.80 per mmBtu, the source added.

On the sell side, Ichthys LNG offered a cargo for loading in April while Chevron (NYSE: CVX ) offered a cargo for loading from Wheatstone in mid-May, sources said. Russia's Novatek also offered five cargoes for delivery over April to June into Europe, traders said.

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