June 9 Asian spot LNG prices were steady this
week, with supply availability from projects in Asia-Pacific
balancing new demand and uncertainty over the impact of a row
between top LNG exporter Qatar and fellow Gulf states.
Spot prices for July delivery LNG-AS edged up by five
cents to $5.45 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), while
August traded at the same level.
Supply was available from a number of projects in Australia,
Malaysia and Angola, which offered two cargoes via spot tender
India's GPSC cancelled a tender to buy an LNG cargo in July,
likely as a result of unsatisfactory price offers, while
Pakistan also pushed back deliveries of four cargoes sought via
tender to October from September.
Nigeria sold three cargoes via tender this week, and
Argentina was to award its 16-cargo buy tender.
"Everyone was playing the Qatar crisis down this week. Qatar
has enough shorts to mitigate the crisis," a Singapore-based
trader said, referring to the producer's outlets in Europe.
Trafigura's Golar Glacier tanker, carrying Qatari LNG, has
moored nearby to Egypt's Ain Sukhna import terminal but has not
unloaded yet. Traders do not expect Egypt to impose any
restrictions on tankers carrying LNG from Qatar.
Two Qatari LNG tankers diverted away from the Suez Canal on
Thursday - which traders had expected to arrive in Britain - are
now both on a heading to sail around Africa, shipping data
Diversions in the Gulf of Aden left Britain facing a lack of
deliveries for the rest of June, lifting prices at the UK's
National Balancing Point trading hub, and driving speculation of
potential links to the diplomatic crisis in the Gulf.
But their revised heading indicates that Qatar may have
opted at the last-minute to take the ships the long way around
Africa, instead of via Egypt's Suez Canal - delaying their
arrival in the UK.
Shipping analysts Kpler estimate both tankers will arrive at
the UK's South Hook import terminal in the first week of July.
Demand from Japanese utilities has been muted this summer
because Japanese consumers have asked producers to supply more
cargoes from their long term commitments ahead of likely nuclear
restarts later in the year, a second trader from a Japanese
trading firm said.
These requests have displaced traditional Japanese summer
demand for spot cargoes, the trader added.
South Korea remains the key Asian buyer this summer, market
participants said, with Komipo launching a tender seeking an
early-July cargo this week.
On the demand side, India's Torrent Power unveiled demand
for 36 LNG cargoes across a three-year period from 2018, and
invited suppliers to provide price offers.
(Reporting by Oleg Vukmanovic in London and Mark Tay in
Singapore,; editing by Alexander Smith)