Japanese winter appetite mops up some of surplus cargoes

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Asian spot prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG) were steady this week as spot demand from Japanese buyers stockpiling ahead of winter soaked up supply offered from Australia and Malaysia. Spot prices for October delivery to Northeast Asia are estimated to be about $4.70 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), steady from last week, said several sources that participate in the market. Japan’s Tohoku Electric likely bought a cargo for delivery over Oct. 16 to 20 at $4.60 to $4.70 per mmBtu, an industry source said, though this could not immediately be confirmed. Japanese buyers have been seeking cargoes in the spot market for fourth quarter delivery as they take advantage of low prices and as hot weather likely recently drew down inventories, said several industry sources. Japan’s Hokuriku Electric bought a cargo for delivery in second half of November from Malaysia’s Petronas, sources said. The utility started importing LNG late last year and has been buying cargoes from Petronas, though its requirements have not been regular, one of the sources said. Japan’s Hokkaido Electric Power also sought a cargo for delivery in November. Demand was also firm from India with Torrent Power and Indian Oil Corp… continue reading

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