2 de abril de 2015 / 15:45 / hace 3 años

Global LNG-Weak demand pulls Asian prices slightly lower

* Limited demand struggles to dent ample supply

* Egypt receives floating LNG import terminal, 1st cargo

* Ship tenders seen in Abu Dhabi, NWS, Japan

MILAN, April 2 (Reuters) - Asian spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices for May delivery edged slightly lower on Friday as gas consumption stayed slack during the typically low-demand period.

The price of spot LNG for May delivery eased to $7.45 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) from $7.50 per mmBtu last week.

Incremental demand from Taiwan, India, China and Japan struggled to put a dent in ample supply availability coming from Indonesian and Australian production plants, among others.

PetroChina plans to import only slightly more natural gas and LNG this year due to slower demand growth and higher domestic output, a bearish signal for global LNG markets after China’s 13-percent gas demand growth last year.

Egypt moved closer to easing its chronic power shortages on Thursday as the arrival of a floating import terminal marked the start of LNG imports.

The terminal, called the Hoegh Gallant and supplied by Norwegian shipping company Hoegh, arrived fully laden with Egypt’s first cargo from Qatar.

Despite turmoil in Yemen, the country’s LNG export terminal appeared to be operating normally and shipments continued to be loaded onto tankers.

The Arwa Spirit LNG tanker had recently departed Yemen’s Balhaf export terminal, according to live ship-tracking data on Thomson Reuters Eikon.

A shipping source said that around 41 LNG tankers were lying idle currently and lacking orders, representing roughly 10 percent of the global fleet.

Recent maintenance on production trains in Qatar at one point saw 20 Qatari vessels lying at anchor offshore, ship-tracking data showed.

In the LNG shipping market a number of tenders were either ongoing or had just been awarded.

Abu Dhabi National Tanker Co. is considering chartering Mitsui OSK Lines’ LNG Pioneer vessel for at least a one year period, two sources said.

“Rumours say that the average rate is around $30,000 a day,” one of the sources said, although this could not be confirmed.

Australia’s North West Shelf LNG export plant chartered a vessel for a period of three-years on Tuesday as part of a recent tender, sources said.

Japan’s Tokyo Electric Power Company is looking to charter a ship for almost a full-year and the Australia-Pacific LNG export plant is scouting around for two ships for up to a year, the same sources said. (Reporting by Oleg Vukmanovic; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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