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Energy

GLOBAL LNG-Asian spot LNG prices jump to 20-month high on firm demand

* China’s Unipec, S Korea’s KOGAS seek winter cargoes

* Colder-than-expected winter boosting demand

* Australian plants offer cargoes for Nov-Dec

SINGAPORE, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Asian spot prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG) jumped to their highest in more than 20 months this week on robust buying appetite ahead of a colder-than-expected winter, trade sources said.

The average LNG price for December delivery into northeast Asia LNG-AS was estimated at about $6.90 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), jumping $1.10 from the previous week.

Prices were boosted by several requirements from buyers in Japan, China and South Korea.

China’s Unipec sought 10 cargoes for delivery in winter, while Shenzhen Energy sought a cargo for December delivery, traders said.

South Korea’s KOGAS may have awarded a tender to buy at least six cargoes for delivery over November to January at just below $7 per mmBtu, while Japan’s Tohoku Electric sought a cargo for delivery in late November to early December, they added.

Taiwan’s CPC Corp may also have bought several cargoes for delivery in December at close to $7 per mmBtu, one of them said.

Cheniere Energy may also have bought a cargo for delivery in December at about $7.10 per mmBtu, a second source said.

Still, with no cancellations expected from U.S. LNG projects in December, a potential increase in cargo flows to Asia may cap price gains, traders added.

Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG) offered a cargo for November-loading, while BHP offered a North-west Shelf cargo for late November to early December loading, traders said.

Darwin LNG likely offered a cargo for loading over late November to early December, while Ichthys LNG likely sold a November cargo at $6.10 to $6.30 on a free-on-board (FOB) basis, they said.

Russia’s Sakhalin Energy also offered a cargo for loading on Dec. 25, while Nigeria LNG offered a cargo for mid-November loading.

Gail (India) likely awarded a swap tender, selling a cargo for loading in January from the United States and buying a cargo for delivery into India, one source said. (Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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