London — Asian spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices remained at high levels this week on a summer demand pickup in Asia and uncertainty over the Nord Stream 1 pipeline’s return to operations after maintenance ends on July 21.
The average LNG price for August delivery into north-east Asia LNG-AS was estimated at $40.50 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), down $0.50 or 1.2%, from the previous week, industry sources said.
The average price for September delivery was estimated at $41.00 per mmBtu, a four-month high and close to record level seen in December at $44.35/mmBtu.
“The LNG market is looking pretty tight for a host of reasons: summer demand in Asia is picking up and there is a heat wave underway in Europe as well as in Texas, but there are plenty of supply issues at the same time,” said Ryan McKay, Commodity Strategist at TD Securities.
Shell has also told customers it will be unable to supply LNG cargoes from Australia’s Prelude LNG, due to industrial action which has been extended to July 21.
Although China has healthy storage levels, a current heatwave across is stressing the power system and might increase LNG buying. Japan and South Korea are also expected to buy more LNG cargoes for summer, said Mauro Chavez Rodriguez, research director for European gas & LNG markets at Wood Mackenzie.
In Europe, S&P Global Commodity Insights assessed LNG prices on a delivered ex-ship (DES) basis into north-west Europe (NWE) at $41.358/mmBtu on July 14, a discount of $9.90/mmBtu to August prices at the Dutch gas hub, said Ciaran Roe, global director of LNG.
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