Japanese spot liquefied natural gas cargoes delivered in December cost almost $4 per million British thermal units less than the price in the same month of the previous year as Northern Hemisphere winter season supplies remained abundant.
Spot cargoes delivered to Japan in December 2019 cost $6.70 per MMBtu compared with $10.60 per MMBtu in December 2018, which was $3.90 per MMBtu less, while the delivered price in the previous month of November 2019 was $5.50 per MMBtu, giving a rise of $1.20 per MMBtu month-to-month.
Prices for cargoes contracted in December 2019 averaged $6.40 per MMBtu versus $9.20 per MMBtu in the same month the previous year.
The monthly spot cargo numbers come from the commerce division of the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and are only issued if a minimum number of two trades are recorded.
Overall LNG imports by Japan declined in November 2019 (the last official numbers available) and cost around 18 percent less than a year ago.
The volume of LNG cargoes delivered to Japan in November fell by 1.2 percent to 6.27 million tonnes compared with 6.34MT in November 2018, according to preliminary figures from the Ministry of Finance. This volume of deliveries amounts to around 90 cargoes.
Imports in October had fallen by 3.6 percent to 6.30MT compared with 6.53MT in October 2018.
According to LNG Journal estimates, Japan is on track to import around 77.80MT for all of 2019, if the official figure for volumes received in December 2019 are in line with last year.