* LNG supply/demand to be 326 bcm in 2012 - BarCap
* 2012 coal import/export surplus to be 6 mln tonnes
By Henning Gloystein
LONDON, Aug 30 Global coal and natural gas
markets will be balanced or in slight surplus for the remainder
of 2012 and in 2013 as weak demand is met by healthy supplies,
although gas markets are expected to tighten in 2014, Barclays
Capital said on Thursday.
The global market for liquefied natural gas (LNG) is
expected to be balanced in 2012 and 213, with supply and demand
seen around 326 billion cubic metres (bcm) and 350 bcm
respectively, BarCap said in its Global Energy Outlook.
In global coal trading, BarCap said that 2012's import
demands of 837 million tonnes would be met by available exports
of 843 million tonnes, while 2013 would see import needs of 849
million tonnes met by 850 million tonnes ready for export.
"European natural gas demand continues to suffer from the
weak economy and a poor competitive position against coal, with
LNG cargoes being diverted to the higher priced Asian natural
gas markets," BarCap said.
"Coal pricing remains subdued, with weaker demand growth
from Chinese steel and power producers, coupled with healthy
supply increments from traditional exporters and the U.S.,
leaving the seaborne market well supplied."
The healthy coal exports mean that BarCap expects prices to
drop, with API2 (European) prices to average $94 per tonne in
2012, and $92 a tonne in 2013.
South African API4 prices were expected to fall from an
average of $95 to $94 a tonne between 2012 and 2013, while
Australian Newcastle coal prices would see a an annual average
decline from $99 a tonne to $97 per tonne.
Despite healthy coal demand in Europe and Asia, BarCap said
that "the story of the market has been supply, with most
exporters able to increase production and U.S. volumes becoming
GAS MARKET TO TIGHTEN IN 2014
For global gas prices BarCap said that it expected slight
increases between 2012 and 2013 despite the balanced market.
Benchmark European (NBP) prices would rise from $9.4 per
million British thermal units (mmBtu) in 2012 to $10.1 in 2013,
while Asian prices would rise from $16.25 to $17.6 per mmBtu.
For the period after 2013, BarCap said that LNG markets
could tighten markedly as new import terminal capacity outstrips
export capacity additions.
"While the 2013 market balance looks just to be marginally
tighter than 2012, 2014 could see a more significant tightening
given the scheduled additions of demand."
In the United States, where a sharp increase of shale gas
exploration has flooded the gas market, prices at Henry Hub, the
main U.S. gas distribution centre, were expected to rise from
$2.64 per mmBtu in 2012 to $3.25 in 2013.
BarCap said that it expected Asian gas prices to be around
$19 per mmBtu in 2014, European prices to be $17.6 per mmBtu and
U.S. prices to rise to $3.6 per mmBtu in 2014.