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By Oleg Vukmanovic
MILAN, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Asian spot prices for LNG delivery in March fell during the week ended Feb. 10 on weak demand and steady supplies despite loading disruptions caused by bad weather at some Australian ports.
Companies including U.S. LNG producer Cheniere Energy and Royal Dutch Shell were said by traders to be offering several cargoes over coming months, helping accelerate a downward trend in spot prices since January.
Spot prices for March delivery were seen at around $7.20 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), 30 cents below the last assessment level, while April prices dipped below the $7 per mmBtu mark, traders said.
In one of the biggest tender awards so far in 2017, Argentina filled requirements for 16 shipments over April-August, awarding 11 to Trafigura, three to Glencore and two to Cheniere.
The transactions were done at a premium to gas prices at the UK’s National Balancing Point (NBP) trading hub, varying in size depending on which of Argentina’s terminals the gas would be delivered to, they said.
Deliveries to Argentina’s Bahia Blanca terminal, for example, show a 30-40 cent premium to NBP, some sources said.
April gas prices at the NBP currently traded around $6.40 per mmBtu.
Loading of cargoes from Australia’s North West Shelf (NWS) liquefaction plant were briefly halted due to bad weather last week, shrugged off by traders as a fleeting hindrance.
Thailand’s state-owned oil and gas firm PTT is seeking an LNG shipment for the second half of March via a tender which will close on Feb. 15. The Thai firm was looking for a “wide spec” LNG cargo that means offers for lean or slightly-rich gas will be considered.
Meanwhile, Britain is to take in its first-ever LNG from Peru later this month as converging prices between the two global benchmarks - the UK’s NBP gas trading hub and Asian spot prices - made it more attractive to offload cargoes in Europe. (Editing by Adrian Croft)