Asian spot LNG price hits record high

Asian spot LNG price surged to a record high on Thursday, boosted by strong winter restocking demand among Asian end-users, according to S&P Global Platts.

Platts said that the JKM for November rose to $34.47/MMBtu on September 30.

This is the highest level for the LNG benchmark for Asian spot LNG since Platts launched it in early 2009, it said.

It broke the previous record of $32.50/MMBtu reached in January.

LNG prices in the region continued to be supported by robust European gas hub prices and intense portfolio optimization activity by international LNG suppliers, the agency said.

The gas price at the Dutch TTF hub, a European benchmark, trades over 90 euros per megawatt-hour.

Also, lower winter temperatures forecast in China and South Korea, as well as concerns over a power shortage in China were sparking spot demand for winter cargoes by end-users, Platts said.

In addition, the recent rally in LNG prices in Europe and Asia has dramatically widened the economic incentive to switch from natural gas to oil in power generation, according to a Rystad Energy report.

If the gap between LNG and oil prices remains wide, Asia would boost oil demand by 400,000 barrels per day on average over the next two quarters, Rystad said, adding this would support already high oil prices. Brent oil reached $80 per barrel for the first time in nearly three years this week.

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