LNG Prices in Northeast Asia Rise on Winter Demand, WGI Says

Liquefied natural gas prices for Northeast Asia rose this week as demand for November cargoes picked up and buyers showed interest in December shipments, according to Energy Intelligence Group.

Supplies of the power-station fuel for delivery over the next four to eight weeks increased to $15.80 per million British thermal units in the period ended today from $15.70 the previous week, the New York-based research company said on the website of its World Gas Intelligence publication. Southwest Europe prices were little changed at $11.60.

LNG prices are forecast to rise this week, according to traders surveyed by Bloomberg News through Sept. 27. Asian buyers typically purchase spot LNG for November delivery to replenish inventories before peak heating and power demand during winter in the northern hemisphere from December to March.

Japanese power utilities are showing the most interest in November cargoes, and buyers from South Korea, Taiwan and China may soon join them in seeking December shipments, WGI said.

Argentina’s earlier-than-normal activity into the spot market played a part in driving spot prices higher, according to WGI. YPF SA, Argentina’s largest energy company, opened a qualifying process Sept. 26 for potential sellers in its tender to buy spot cargoes for 2014. Last year, the company waited until December to start looking for cargoes.

Angola LNG, which is selling its fourth cargo via a tender, is attracting “keen” interest from Japanese buyers, WGI said. The tender opened Sept. 25 and closes today, with the shipment delivered by the Sonangol Benguela.

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