(Adds first Sabine Pass LNG cargo to head for Netherlands, background)
LONDON, May 22 (Reuters) - The Netherlands is set to receive its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) delivery from Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass export plant in the United States, according to shipping data.
The Arctic Discoverer vessel, with a carrying capacity of 133,500 cubic metres of LNG, departed the facility on the Gulf Coast and is listed as heading for Rotterdam, data shows.
Cheniere is currently the only company able to export large cargoes of LNG from the continental United States but very few have so far landed on European shores despite analyst expectations of a surge in supply.
According to U.S. Department of Energy data, the biggest beneficiary of Sabine Pass volumes has so far been Mexico, followed by Chile, China, Japan, Jordan, India and Turkey.
Currently Spain, Portugal, Italy and Malta are the only European countries to have received deliveries.
Analysts and some LNG traders expect European imports to improve from this summer due to increased LNG production capacity as markets in Asia and elsewhere struggle to absorb the growing pool of supply.
In February Britain received its first ever LNG delivery from Peru aboard the Gallina tanker.
Royal Dutch Shell exports LNG from Peru, mostly to Mexico, but due to contractual issues with Mexico’s CFE the oil major had opted instead to divert some cargoes into alternate markets, traders said. (Reporting by Oleg Vukmanovic; Editing by Joseph Radford and Louise Heavens)