SINGAPORE/MILAN Asian spot LNG prices fell for a sixth consecutive week as a series of sell tenders launched this week are seen offering supplies into a market with thin demand following a warmer-than-expected winter in North Asia.
Spot prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG) for April delivery were pegged at around $6.40 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), about 50 cents below last week's levels, according to five traders surveyed by Reuters.
"LNG prices are collapsing lately, because winter is mostly done. Warm weather also (pushed) NBP prices down by 20 percent recently," a Singapore-based trading source said.
Falling prices at Britain's gas trading hub, National Balancing Point (NBP), have dashed expectations of an influx of shipments heading to Europe, leaving more for other regions.
Import tenders from India's Gail, Thailand's PTT and Argentina's Enarsa have done little to counter the supplies offered by Russia, Angola and Abu Dhabi this week, traders added.
Russia's Sakhalin II LNG project issued two tenders to sell a combined nine shipments loading in 2017/2018 this week. The first tender offers three cargoes for loading on April 23, 26 and 29, while the second tender is offering cargoes for loading between May and March next year.
The bearish sentiment in Asia has also been compounded by the "shoulder season" - a period of low LNG demand - after winter, a second Singapore-based trader said.
But demand from Argentinian import tenders could provide Asia-focused sellers with an alternative and a "hedge" to selling cargoes into the Asia-Pacific where prices have fallen by a quarter since the start of this year, the trader added.
Argentina's state-run energy firm Enarsa recently awarded another import tender seeking 16 cargoes for April-August delivery at premiums to the NBP.
Results of PTT's import tender that sought a second-half March delivery wide-spec cargo have been slow to emerge, although traders expect Qatar to have won the tender.
(Editing by Sunil Nair)