Global LNG-November prices weaken as new supply emerges from Australia
Asian liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices for November delivery sank this week as demand stayed thin, end users in the region already looked well stocked and supply was plentiful.
The price of Asian spot cargoes for November delivery slumped to $6.90 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), compared with the last assessment for October at $7.20 per mmBtu last week.
A run of low demand plaguing Asia’s top LNG importers continued to weigh on prices and contribute to a supply glut made worse by a wave of new LNG export plants in Australia and the United States.
Australia’s latest LNG export plant, Gladstone, is readying to export its inaugural cargo using the Seri Bakti tanker, which is expected to arrive at the facility on September 28, according to shipping data on Reuters Eikon.
South Korea, one of the world’s biggest LNG consumers, imported 15.6 percent less of the fuel in August compared with a year earlier, customs data showed.
“Middle East demand is expected to slow down now given it’s a summer market,” said a trader.
The price outlook was “bleak”, the trader added, forecasting $6 per mmBtu as a growing possibility given all the new Australian projects coming online.
Poland’s first LNG import terminal should finally be ready for commercial use next May, likely reaching capacity by 2018, its operator said.
The oversupply of cargoes is also intensifying competition for spot market share.
Glencore is mounting a challenge to Trafigura and Vitol to become the top merchant trader of LNG, planning to trade around 50 cargoes over the next year and double the size of its trading team.
Egypt is seeking a cargo for delivery around Oct. 10 into its new LNG import terminal. China’s CNOOC sold one cargo each to BG Group and BP, marking the completion of its first ever sell tender.
Nigeria LNG sold a cargo to Brazil’s state-run Petrobras, while Pakistan launched a tender seeking 5 cargoes for delivery in Oct-Dec.
Indian Oil Corp closed a tender to buy a cargo each in October and November, one trader said, while India’s GSPC closed a tender to buy one cargo in mid-October.