LNG Trade Seen Closed on Narrowing Price Gap by Morgan Stanley

The narrowing gap between liquefied natural gas prices in Asia and Europe erased an opportunity to profit from trades between the regions, according to Morgan Stanley.

The fuel fell 7 percent last week to $18.50 per million British thermal units in Asia, $3.30 higher than in northwest Europe, Fotis Giannakoulis, a New York-based analyst at the investment bank, said in an e-mailed report today.

“The west-east arb is closed for the moment,” he said, referring to the arbitrage, when the price of a commodity in one region exceeds the cost of buying and transporting it from another.

Two tankers were booked last week, and enough vessels are available to meet demand for loadings in April, Giannakoulis said in the report. Middle East shipments in the second half of March could lead to more charters, he said. Spot rates were unchanged at $115,000 to $120,000 a day, he said.

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