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Asian LNG prices soar to nearly 4-month high on firm demand

Asian spot prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG) rose to a nearly four-month high this week as cargoes were pulled into Europe amid firm restocking demand and for power generation demand in summer, trade sources said on Friday.

The average LNG price for June delivery into Northeast Asia LNG-AS was estimated at about $9.65 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), up 80 cents from the previous week, they said.

The price for a cargo delivered in July was estimated at about $9.75 per mmBtu, they added.

Firm demand from Europe and China as buyers replenished diminished gas inventory was supporting prices, traders said.

China’s April LNG imports rose about 11% in April from the previous month to 6.48 million tonnes, ship tracking data from Refinitiv Eikon showed.

Still, buyers in India diverting cargoes as soaring coronavirus cases dented the country’s gas demand from industrial sectors capped price gains.

A total of seven ships which had signalled India as their destination have been diverted away so far, said Rebecca Chia, analyst with data intelligence firm Kpler.

Several sell tenders were also seen this week for cargoes to be loaded in June.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) offered a June 18-20 loading cargo while Indonesia’s Pertamina offered cargoes for loading from Bontang over June and July, sources said.

China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) offered three cargoes for delivery into Northeast Asia in June and July on the Shanghai Petroleum and Natural Gas Exchange while Russia’s Sakhalin Energy offered a cargo for June 14 loading, they added.

In Australia, Ichthys LNG export offered a cargo for delivery over mid-May to June while Darwin LNG sold a cargo for loading over June 5 to 7 at about $8.90 per mmBtu on a free-on-board (FOB) basis, they said.

Oman LNG sold a cargo for late June to early July loading at about $8.50 to $8.60 on a FOB basis, one of the sources said.

Pakistan State Oil bought a cargo for May 25 to 26 delivery at 14.521% of Brent crude oil futures, a second source said.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan; editing by Jason Neely)

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