Glencore comes out top as Egypt awards mega LNG import tender

* EGAS awards mega tender, taking mainly 2017 cargoes

* Glencore emerges as top supplier, followed by Trafigura

* Jan-Mar 2017 cargoes priced at about 15 percent to crude

* Remainder of 2017 cargoes priced lower as fundamentals expected to weaken

By Mark Tay

SINGAPORE, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Egypt will import around 60 cargoes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) next year and Glencore will be the biggest supplier, trading sources with knowledge of the results of Egypt’s mega tender for 2017 and 2018 said on Monday.

Glencore bagged the right to supply around 25 liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes to Egypt, while second-placed Trafigura is understood to have won the right to supply about 18 cargoes of the super-cooled fuel, the trading sources said.

Other parties successful in Egypt Natural Gas Holding’s (EGAS) tender included BB Energy, Gunvor and Vitol, the sources added.

State-run EGAS, which issued the import tender in late October, sought 96 cargoes for delivery in 2017 and 2018 in total, with an option to buy 12 additional cargoes in 2017.

The company has now probably secured all of its 2017 requirements, and just six cargoes for 2018, traders said. It was not immediately clear why it did not seek more cargoes for 2018 delivery.

The details of the tender results could not be directly confirmed as EGAS did not respond to Reuters’ queries. A Glencore spokesperson also declined to comment on the results.

January-March 2017 cargoes are understood to have been awarded at a slope of around 15 percent to crude, while the remaining cargoes for 2017 delivery are likely to have been priced at a slope of 12 percent and below, the trading sources said.

The steeper premium for the January-March cargoes is estimated to be equivalent to about $7.50 per million British thermal units (mmBtu). In comparison, Asian spot LNG prices for January delivery LNG-AS are currently pegged around $7.10/mmBtu.

“It is bullish news,” a Singapore-based trader said, referring to the first quarter 2017 volumes and prices paid by EGAS.

However, the lower price for cargoes to be delivered later in 2017 reflect the weaker demand-supply fundamentals expected in the LNG market, said a second trader based in Singapore. Australia and the United States are due to ramp up production in the second half of next year.

Under the tender terms, LNG suppliers may have to wait as long as six months to get paid for deliveries arriving between January and June 2017. Thereafter payments will take 120 days compared with the 90 days that LNG shippers previously got paid after delivery. (Reporting by Mark Tay, additional reporting by Henning Gloystein in Singapore and Eric Knecht in Cairo; Editing by Susan Fenton)