SINGAPORE: Asian spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices jumped to a more than four-month high this week, tracking firmer gas prices in Europe and the United States, and as major cities in North Asia face warmer-than-usual weather potentially boosting demand.
The average LNG price for September delivery into northeast Asia was estimated at about $3.10 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) this week, up 40 cents from the previous week.
Prices for cargoes to be delivered in October were estimated at about $3.50 per mmBtu.
"Market is bullish due to supply issues from Gorgon and also because European and U.S. gas markets are firm," said a Singapore-based LNG trader, referring to the delayed restart of a production line at the Chevron-operated LNG plant in Australia.
The maintenance on Train 2 of the Gorgon project began in late May, but a restart initially planned for mid-July has been delayed until early September.
The recent rise in spot prices has seen buyers snap up cargoes at prices that are still low compared with previous years, the trader said.
Prices across Europe rose this week on the back of lower Russian flows, while those at the Henry Hub in the United States gained on hotter-than-normal weather.
Tokyo, Beijing and Shanghai are expected to see warmer-than-usual temperatures next week, according to Refinitiv weather data, potentially boosting demand for electricity as people switch on air conditioners.
Malaysia's Petronas sold a cargo from the Gorgon LNG plant for mid-September loading to Gunvor at about $2.90 per mmBtu, one industry source said.
PetroChina put in the lowest offer to a tender issued by Pakistan LNG for a mid-August cargo.
Sakhalin and Papua New Guinea LNG plants sold September-loading cargoes at above $3 per mmBtu, while Nippon Steel bought a cargo at about $3 to $3.15 per mmBtu, traders said.
India's Reliance Industries and Indian Oil Corp, South Korea's PRISM Energy and KOMIPO, Japan's Tohoku Electric, and China's Shenzhen Energy were in the market looking for September to October cargoes, they said.- Reuters
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