Japan’s spot LNG prices skyrocket in January

Japanese spot LNG cargo prices surged in January due to a cold snap in Asia which triggered an unprecedented rise in prices but also ship chartering rates.

The average contract price for spot LNG cargoes shipped to Japan in January reached $18.5/mmBtu, data released by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry reveals.

This marked the highest-ever contracted price since METI started releasing these monthly spot LNG reports in March 2014.

In addition, the January price more than doubled compared to $8.6/mmBtu recorded in December that also marked a yearly record following lows in the March-May period due to Covid effects.

Moreover, the arrival-based spot price also surged to $15.5/mmBtu, the third-highest ever recorded. Only April and May in 2014 were higher, METI’s data shows.

Compared to $6.80/mmBtu recorded in December, the aririval based price more than doubled.

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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