Global LNG-Price Gains Face Ceiling As New Supply Emerges

Global LNG-Price Gains Face Ceiling As New Supply Emerges

Asian spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices rose this week on the back of rallying gas benchmarks in Europe and a production outage in Angola.

The price of LNG for December delivery was $7.20 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), up around 25 cents from a week earlier, buoyed by gains in British month-ahead gas prices.

UK December gas rose as much as 10 percent this week. Further LNG spot gains may be capped as prices close the gap with long-term, oil-indexed LNG contract levels and with new supply emerging from US and Australian liquefaction projects, analysts and trade sources say.

LNG importers arbitrage between buying shipments on spot markets or through their long-term contracts which tend to act as a ceiling on spot prices. Price-sensitive Indian importers may also shrink away from paying too much for spot shipments.

The second production line at Australia’s giant Gorgon export facility is ramping up while Cheniere Energy is preparing to bring on a third unit at its Sabine Pass plant.

Taiwan’s CPC was wrapping up a tender to buy two LNG shipments for delivery across Nov-Dec.

Production at the Chevron-led Angola LNG export plant was suspended for several weeks for the completion of minor modifications to reach the site’s full capacity.

Pakistan LNG Ltd has launched a mid- and a long-term tender to purchase a combined 240 shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG), the company said on its website, as the country emerges to become a major gas importer.

Pakistan, which can only meet around two-thirds of its gas demand, is expected to issue further tenders seeking twice as much supply to fill out remaining capacity at its new import terminal at Port Qasim, in the commercial capital Karachi, according to one Pakistani energy expert.

Forced into action by falling customers due to market liberalization and a shrinking population, Japan’s utilities are ditching old long-term coal and gas supply contracts in favour of more short-term, opportunistic trading.

Unknown assailants who opened fire on a gas tanker last week off the coast of Yemen were also carrying a “substantial amount of explosives”, the vessel’s owner said on Thursday, and a maritime source said it may have been an attempted suicide attack.

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