Japan’s spot LNG prices drop from Jan and Feb but still up year-on-year

Japanese spot LNG prices dropped in March when compared to record numbers logged in January and February due to a cold snap in Asia, but they increased year-on-year.

The average contract-based price for spot LNG cargoes shipped to Japan in March reached $6.60/mmBtu, data released by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry reveals.

This marked a decline compared to the previous month’s price of $12.7/mmBtu or the record $18.5/mmBtu logged in January, but it almost doubled when compared to $3.40/mmBtu recorded in the same month last year.

Moreover, the arrival-based spot price reached $9.30/mmBtu, down from 16.3/mmBtu last month. February price marked the second-highest ever price METI recorded since March 2014.

METI did not provide the arrival-based spot price in March 2020 due to lack of spot shipments but last month’s price was much higher than the $5.50/mmBtu recorded in February 2020 or $3.0/mmBtu logged in April 2020.

To remind, the ministry surveys only spot LNG cargoes purchased by Japanese utilities and other importers. It excludes cargo deals linked to a particular price index such as the US Henry Hub.

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