ROME (Reuters) - Spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) volumes traded by Glencore in 2019 have increased by more than 75% from last year, with the company ramping up its Asian presence, Nathan Arentz, Glencore’s head of gas trading, told the CWC LNG conference in Rome.
Once viewed as dull owing to its decades-long deals dominated by western energy giants and state firms, the LNG market has became a hot ticket over the last few years as a spot market emerged with demand growth in emerging Asian markets.
Major trading firms have steadily built up a significant presence in LNG although Glencore had lagged far behind Gunvor, Vitol and Trafigura. The firms also view LNG as a transition fuel that will help cut dependency on oil and coal, which have higher emissions of carbon and other pollutants.
After a dip in volumes last year, Glencore is now closing in on the 11 million tonnes traded by lead LNG trading house Gunvor in 2018, Arentz said on the sidelines of the conference on Friday.
“We just turned the needle towards Asia and are growing our volumes there very strongly,” he said, adding that there was a big increase in volumes traded to China and India.
“I think we probably position ourselves in 2019 as the largest spot trader in China,” he added.
The commodities trader will deal around 11 million tonnes of spot LNG by the end of the year, compared to around 5.5-6 million tonnes in 2018, according to Arentz.
“We strongly believe in LNG, we will be growing volumes very rapidly,” Arentz said, adding that Glencore is also interested in entering into long-term deals in the future, although he declined to elaborate on the matter.
“We are well-positioned in China and India,” he said. “We have great relationships with Qatar, it is a leading shareholder in Glencore, that leads to a lot of cooperation.”
Reporting by Ekaterina Kravtsova; Editing by Edmund Blair, Kirsten Donovan