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Supply issues, firm demand boost LNG prices to over $12/mmBtu

Asian spot prices for LNG jumped by over 10% as issues in a few plants curtailed supply and as demand remained strong during the summer period, trade sources said.

The average LNG price for July delivery into Northeast Asia was estimated at about $12.10 per metric million British thermal units (mmBtu), up $1.15 from the previous week, they said.

The price for cargoes delivered in August was estimated to be about $11.80 per mmBtu, they added.

Supply issues, both planned and unplanned, plague some plants in the United States, Australia, Malaysia and Indonesia, and are supporting prices, traders said.

Australia’s Ichthys LNG plant may be delaying the restart of a production train that underwent maintenance due to issues, traders said. A company spokesman declined to comment on the matter.

In the United States, the amount of gas flowing to LNG plants edged up over the past few days after falling to its lowest since February on Monday due to reductions at a couple of Louisiana plants and some pipelines serving them, which could push exports higher.

Demand for LNG remained robust globally.

China’s offshore oil and gas major CNOOC Ltd bought more than 10 cargoes for delivery between July and next March as demand in southern China was strong due to hot weather.

South Korea’s newest and biggest nuclear reactor, Shin Kori-4, shut last month after a fire, is also expected to boost LNG demand.

In India, gas consumption is seen recovering in June after declining in the previous two months, as states ease restrictions, officials said this week, though the monsoon season may limit LNG imports.

Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) is seeking a commissioning cargo for the country’s first permanent import terminal, while Argentine energy company Integracion Energetica Argentina (IEASA) is seeking eight cargoes for delivery from August to September, sources said.

Oman LNG may have sold a cargo for late July delivery into North Asia at $12 to $12.10 per mmBtu, one source said.

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