GLOBAL LNG-Asian LNG prices sink again as coronavirus disrupts demand
LONDON, – Asian spot prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG) sank this week as the coronavirus pandemic further dampened demand, prompting buyers to push back cargo deliveries.
The average LNG price for June delivery into northeast Asia LNG-AS was estimated at around $2.30 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) on Friday, $0.20 per mmBtu lower than the estimate last week.
The current price is almost half that for June a year ago, Reuters data showed.
LNG and gas stocks had already been high all over the world, a trader said. “Coronavirus has made the bad much worse. The market is down due to low offtake by usual buyers,” he added.
Several buyers around the world are trying to defer cargo deliveries, industry sources said, which has led to several floating cargoes and prompted some sellers to offer unwanted volumes in tenders.
“That’s why there are so many sell tenders on the market,” the LNG trader said.
In a tender this week, Australia’s Ichthys LNG plant sold a cargo for loading in early May below $2/mmBtu on a free-on-board (FOB) basis, sources said.
Brunei’s LNG export plant sold an early June cargo at $2.30/mmBtu on a FOB basis and also separately sold a cargo on a delivered ex-ship (DES) basis for May 8-9 at around $2.10 per mmBtu.
There was an offer from Indonesia’s Tangguh LNG plant this week for five cargoes for the May to July period.
Indonesian exporter Pertamina also offered two June cargoes.
In an unusual move, Royal Dutch Shell issued a five-year strip tender offering four cargoes a year from 2021 onwards with an option to extend for another five years.
On the S&P Global Platts Market on Close window on Friday, commodity trader Gunvor bought an early-June cargo from Vitol at $2.05/mmBtu, but other bids and offers in the window were higher.