Japan’s JOGMEC publishes spot LNG price for first time in 2024

State-run Japan Organization for Metals and Energy Security (JOGMEC) has published the first contract-based monthly spot LNG price since October 2023.

“The average price of spot LNG cargoes for delivery to Japan contracted in March 2024 and scheduled to be delivered from the month onward (contract-based price) was $9.3/MBtu,” JOGMEC said on Tuesday in its preliminary report.

The average price of spot LNG cargoes that were delivered in Japan within the month of March regardless of the month when the contracts were made (arrival-based price) was not disclosed.

JOGMEC did not publish both the contract-based and the arrival-based monthly spot LNG prices in the first two months of this year as there were less than two companies that imported spot LNG.

Also, JOGMEC excludes LNG cargoes if spot LNG prices are linked to other indices, such as Henry Hub or JKM.

The contract-based price in October 2023 was $14.7/MMBtu, while JOGMEC last time published the arrival-based price in December last year and it was at 16.9/MMBtu.

Inventory injections

JOGMEC said in a separate report on Monday that JKM, the price for LNG cargoes delivered to Northeast Asia, for the previous week (April 1 – April 5) “remained unchanged at mid-$9s on April 5 from mid-$9s the previous weekend.”

“The price trended lower mid-week on the back of weak demand in major LNG consuming countries in Asia, but the decline was offset over the weekend by active trading due to demand for inventory injections, especially in Japan,” it said.

METI announced on April 3 that Japan’s LNG inventories for power generation as of March 31 stood at 1.48 million tonnes, a drop of 0.04 million tonnes from the previous week, down 0.85 million tonnes from the end of the same month last year, and down 0.66 million tonnes from the average of the past five years.

Japan’s is the world’s second-largest LNG importer after China.

Official data for Japan’s March LNG imports are not yet available.

Japan’s LNG imports dropped for the second month in a row in February.

The country’s LNG imports decreased by 5.9 percent year-on-year in February to 6.02 million tonnes, according to the data released by the country’s Ministry of Finance.

LNG imports dropped slightly compared to 6.1 million tonnes in the previous month, which also marked a decrease year-on-year.

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