(Reuters) – Asian liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices continued to trend upwards this week as demand remained firm in the region, though a rise in coronavirus cases in China, the world’s second-largest importer of LNG, capped price gains.
The average LNG price for September delivery into Northeast Asia was estimated at about $17.05 per metric million British thermal units (mmBtu), up 15 cents from the previous week, industry sources said.
Cargoes to be delivered in October are estimated to be about $17.30 per mmBtu, they added.
“Global gas prices have surged higher this summer on the combination of insatiable Asian demand and untenably low European storage inventories,” analysts from Bank of America said.
Shipping disruptions in China due to coronavirus cases, however, could weigh on prices, one source said.
Intenders, demand was firm from Asia with several companies seeking or buying cargoes, the sources said.
Japan’s Kansai Electric was looking for a swap cargo to be delivered into Japan in September and loading from Australia in October, while South Korea’s GS Energy and SK Energy jointly bought a cargo for delivery in September at about $17 per mmBtu, they said.
Indian Oil Corp bought a cargo for September delivery at about $16.60 to $16.70 per mmBtu while China’s Shenzhen Energy purchased a cargo for August delivery at about $16.20 per mmBtu, they added.
Gail (India) sold a cargo for October loading from Sabine Pass on a free-on-board (FOB) basis at about $3 premium to Henry Hub gas prices and bought a cargo for September delivery into Hazira, India, one source said.
China’s Guangdong Energy closed a tender seeking 13 cargoes for delivery from June 2022 to December 2023, traders said.
ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India is seeking 80 cargoes for delivery between 2024 and 2030, while India’s Torrent Power is seeking 34 cargoes for delivery for 2022 to 2026, sources said.
GAIL (India) Ltd has issued a swap tender offering 12 cargoes for loading in the United States and seeking 12 cargoes for delivery into India over 2021 to 2022, sources added.