Asia LNG Prices Little Changed on Fewer Spot Buyers, WGI Says

Liquefied natural gas prices for Northeast Asia were unchanged for a second week as buyers faced less competition from Latin American users for short-term cargoes, according to Energy Intelligence Group.

LNG for delivery over the next four to eight weeks remained at $19 per million British thermal units in the seven days through today, the New York-based research company said on the website of its World Gas Intelligence publication. Southwest Europe prices increased to $14, up from $13.80 last week.

About 10 spot shipments, mostly from the Atlantic, are available for February delivery and an estimated four Japanese utilities are seeking supplies that month, according to WGI. Tokyo Electric Power Co., Japan’s largest power utility, is looking for two spot cargoes for February, two people with knowledge of the matter said Dec. 4.

Malaysia and Indonesia, the world’s second- and fifth-largest LNG exporters in 2012, may offer excess shipments to long-term customers early next year, according to WGI. Yemen LNG continues to supply after a blast earlier this month, it said.

Prices are forecast to be little changed this week, according to three of four traders surveyed by Bloomberg News through Nov. 29. Asian LNG importers typically purchase spot cargoes from December to March to meet peak heating and power demand during the northern hemisphere winter.

Cold weather across Europe combined with reduced Algerian gas export volumes are supporting demand, with Italy, Greece and France seeking spot cargoes, WGI said. LNG shipments reloaded from storage in Europe and exported to Asia have “dried up”, according to the research company.

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