April 24, 2020 / 4:01 PM / a month ago

GLOBAL LNG-Asian LNG prices fall below $2 per mmBtu as spot offers flood market

* Price falls below $2/mmBtu

* Around 20 U.S. cargoes cancelled for June loading

* China received first U.S. LNG in 13 months

By Ekaterina Kravtsova

LONDON, April 24 (Reuters) - Asian spot prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG) tumbled this as week as sellers around the world flooded the market with cargo offers, while demand remained subdued amid coronavirus-related lockdowns.

The average LNG price for June delivery into northeast Asia LNG-AS was estimated at around $1.95 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) on Friday, $0.35 per mmBtu lower than the estimate last week.

A wave of supply tenders has hit the market as a number of buyers are rescheduling long-term deliveries, leaving suppliers with excess cargoes, an LNG trader said.

“There’s some flexibility in long-term contracts. If the long-term buyer nominates (volumes) down, then the surplus cargoes are offered on the spot market,” another industry source said.

There were also tenders from usual sellers of spot cargoes, traders said.

In Africa, Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) offered two cargoes for loading in May and Angola’s LNG project offered a cargo for loading in June.

In Asia, Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd, or Petronas, also offered an LNG cargo for delivery in June.

Exxon Mobil Corp’s Papua New Guinea LNG export plant sold a cargo for May 25 loading at around $1.80 per mmBtu, two sources said.

Brunei’s LNG export plant has sold a June 9-10 loading cargo in a tender that closed on April 20 at close to $2.00 per mmBtu, one trader said.

Russia’s Sakhalin 2 plant offered six cargoes for loading between June 2020 and February 2021.

Australia’s Ichthys LNG plant was selling two cargoes for May-June loading, an industry source said.

There was also a tender from Russia’s Novatek that offered a July delivery cargo to Europe, which was awarded this week, two sources said.

In the United States, loading of around 20 cargoes in June was cancelled this week by buyers from Asia and Europe as prices in these regions were too low to ship a cargo from the United States.

Meanwhile, China received this week its first U.S. cargo in 13 months after Beijing started granting tax waivers to LNG importers.

DEMAND

Amid low prices, some buyers started to look for cargoes, but demand was too low to relieve oversupply.

With India easing lockdown measures for some public sectors, several buyers from the country issued tenders, sources said.

Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd was seeking to buy a May 25 delivery cargo, with one source in India saying the tender was not awarded.

Indian companies Indian oil Corp and Reliance Industries were also in the market, the source added.

There was also a buy tender from Taiwan’s CPC Corp.

Several buyers in Europe were looking to buy cargoes as well. (Reporting by Ekaterina Kravtsova; Editing by Mark Potter)

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