September 8, 2017 / 10:35 AM / 10 months ago

Prices rise to 6-month high on pre-winter demand

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Asian spot LNG prices rose to their highest since mid-February this week, buoyed by rising demand from traders and as buyers begin to positions themselves for upcoming winter demand.

Spot prices for October delivery rose 30 cents to $6.40 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), according to three trading sources polled on Friday. November prices were eyed higher at around $6.80 per mmBtu, they said.

Some utilities have turned to cheaper October supplies to build inventories in the face of even higher prices in November, trading sources in Europe said.

Asian spot prices also gained because of disruptions to U.S. loadings by Hurricane Harvey, which filtered through to Asia as UK National Balancing Point (NBP) natural gas prices rose, a Singapore-based trader said.

NBP prices have gained 2.3 percent in the past week to 46.05 pence per therm, and by around 4.7 percent since Hurricane Harvey hit the United States on Aug. 25.

Loadings at Cheniere’s Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana resumed on Wednesday, after more than a week of delays, shipping data in Thomson Reuters Eikon showed.

“The prompt market is picking up with quite a few traders looking for October cargoes,” a second Singapore-based trader said.

Upcoming winter demand is another factor supporting higher spot prices this week, said an official at a Japanese end-user.

Reporting by Mark Tay and Oleg Vukmanovic; Editing by Tom Hogue

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