Japan’s spot LNG prices rise in December on winter demand

Japanese spot LNG cargo prices increased again in December on winter demand following record lows in the March-May period due to Covid effects.

The average contract price for spot LNG cargoes shipped to Japan in December reached $8.6/mmBtu, by far the highest last year, data released by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry reveals.

This compares to $6.8/mmBtu in November that also marked a yearly record. On a yearly basis, the contracted price increased by $2.2/mmBtu.

In addition, the arrival-based spot price of $6.80/mmBtu increased both on month and year-on-year.

Last month’s arrival-based price stood at $6.50/mmBtu while $6.70/mmBtu was recorded in December last year, the data shows.

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.

Asian LNG prices have skyrocketed since December reaching never seen levels in a short period of time.

The average LNG price for February delivery into northeast Asia hit a record high of around $28.221 per mmBtu on Monday, according to S&P Global Platts.

Trader Trafigura purchased a 3.2 trillion British thermal unit cargo for delivery in mid-February from Total Gas and Power Asia at a record $39.30 per mmBtu, the agency said.

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