By Jessica Jaganathan
SINGAPORE, April 23 (Reuters) – Asian spot prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG) rose to a three-month high this week boosted by demand for power generation ahead of summer and as some buyers stockpile ahead of winter.
But a surge in coronavirus infections in India, which threatens gas demand, capped price gains.
The average LNG price for June delivery into Northeast Asia LNG-AS was estimated at about $8.65 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), up $1.05 from the previous week, industry sources said.
Firm demand from China as buyers stockpile ahead of winter and requirements from South Korea ahead of winter was boosting prices, they added.
PetroChina on Thursday sold a cargo to BP for delivery into North Asia June 1-5 at $8.75 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), data from price agency S&P Global Platts showed.
Argentina’s IEASA was seeking 10 partial cargoes for delivery over June to August into the Escobar terminal, while Thailand’s PTT bought a cargo at $8.50 per mmBtu, traders said.
South Korea’s Prism Energy and GS Energy were seeking cargoes for delivery in June while Guangzhou Gas likely bought a cargo for May delivery at $8.30 to $8.40 per mmBtu, they added.
India’s Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) also bought a cargo for delivery in June at $8.30 to $8.40 per mmBtu while Bangladesh’s Petrobangla bought a mid-May cargo from Vitol at above $8 per mmBtu, they said.
On the sell side, Indonesia’s Pertamina sold a cargo for loading from Corpus Christi in late June at around $3.40 to $3.60 above Henry Hub gas futures while Russia’s Sakhalin Energy sold a cargo for May 31 loading to DGI at $8.70 per mmBtu, they added.
Brunei LNG also sold a cargo for June delivery at around $8.50 to $8.80 per mmBtu, they said.
Still, gas demand from India is taking a slight hit as COVID-19 cases surge in the country, sources said.
“Gas-based power demand is already down due to high spot prices, but now city-gas demand is also reducing,” one of them said.
(Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)
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