September LNG trade continues to improve on Asian and some European demand
China’s domestic LNG prices saw a rally of more than 14% since September, with the average terminal capacity utilisation in the high 80s in October to date. By contrast, capacity utilisation stood at only 59% this time last year. Nevertheless, our current market visibility suggests lower Chinese LNG imports week-on-week.
Following a protracted weather-induced hiatus, Sempra’s Cameron LNG restarted LNG production on Sunday. A string of severe weather had previously forced exports to be stopped due to extensive interruptions to the plant’s power supply. Our data currently indicates the plant could export up to three cargoes this week, depending on storage levels and shipping channel clearance.
Japan has firmly re-established itself as the world’s leading buyer of LNG. Following subdued demand in the run-up to summer due to the negative economic impact of COVID-19 related health measures, the country’s cargo offtakes have broadly returned to year-on-year levels. Meanwhile, US LNG exporters are keen to return to growth with last week’s exports rising sharply.
Higher global forward prices and improving netbacks for buyers of US LNG in Europe and Asia are expected to push up exports to pre-Covid levels by November. Come December, analysts anticipate more than 9 Bcf per day of US LNG exports through February 2021. Markets Editor Anja Karl investigates.
It may be easy to think that due to the short distances between the world’s LNG powerhouse Qatar and the Indian subcontinent Middle Eastern LNG supply will always be the most competitive choice in term of price.
DNV GL’s Energy Transition Outlook forecasts a potential golden age for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the coming decades, but uncertainty remains in the short term.