July 13, 2018 / 3:23 PM / 2 months ago

GLOBAL LNG-Spot prices decline as deals emerge

LONDON, July 13 (Reuters) - Asian spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices continued correcting lower with potentially steeper dips expected ahead amid thin demand from China and India and healthy supply. Recent tender deals seemingly confirmed the bearish tone.

Spot prices for August LNG-AS delivery in Asia were assessed at $10 per million British thermal units (Btu), down 10 cents from the previous week. LNG prices may be a shade lower heading into September.

Russia’s Sakhalin II plant sold a tender Aug. 22-loading cargo to a North Asian buyer at an estimated delivered price of $9.90 per mmBtu, market sources said.

Earlier this week, Australia’s APLNG plant sold a Aug. 4-loading free-on-board cargo potentially to Shell at an estimated $9.30 per mmBtu.

Despite above-average temperatures in Japan, utilities show limited demand for LNG, while in China buyers may be waiting for prices to fall further before wading into the spot market.

Total LNG imports into China remain brisk however.

Cooling prices may also tempt Indian buyers back into the market but for now demand was sparse with only Gail this week wrapping up a tender purchase for a single late July cargo.

A run of production outages helped to tighten markets last month but much of that pressure has since been relieved.

The market was not fully out of the woods as Malaysia’s giant Bintulu complex may have shut in some production for planned maintenance, traders said. The 30 million tonne per annum, nine-train facility spent last month troubleshooting unexpected electrical faults that impeded output.

Angola LNG planned to shut this month ahead of an early August restart. Australia’s Ichthys project, meanwhile, fell further behind schedule, delaying first LNG as developer Inpex patched what it called “minor issues”.

The second train from Yamal LNG in Russia’s Arctic should start pumping in September. The fifth train from Cheniere’s Sabine Pass plant in Louisiana starts the following month. (Editing by David Evans)

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