June 5, 2020 / 2:16 PM / a month ago

GLOBAL LNG-Asian LNG prices rise amid lockdown easing, U.S. cancellations

* Lockdown measures easing, but recovery speed uncertain

* Indian buyers purchase cargoes

* European prices rebound

By Ekaterina Kravtsova

LONDON, June 5 (Reuters) - Asian spot prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG) rose this week amid easing of lockdown measures in some countries and expectations of reduced exports from the United States this month.

The average LNG price for July delivery into northeast Asia LNG-AS was estimated at $2.10 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) on Friday, $0.25 above last week’s assessment.

There are signs that Indian LNG demand is picking up as the government eases lockdown measures, while Chinese demand is expected to maintain year-on-year growth, consultancy Energy Aspects said in a report this week.

“But there is ample uncertainty over the trajectory of a COVID-19 recovery, including the risk of a second wave of infections that could dent gas demand again,” the report said.

Market sources said thhe cancellation of at least 20 cargoes for loading from the United States in June was also filtering through, supporting the price.

In India, Indian Oil Corp and Gujarat State Petroleum Corp (GSPC) have bought cargoes in the past week, market sources said.

Indian Oil purchased a late June cargo at around $2.00 per mmBtu.

GSPC has awarded three cargoes in its seven-cargo tender, with a December 2020 cargo priced at a $0.35 discount to the S&P Global Platts Japan Korea Market (JKM), March 2021 cargo at a $0.30 discount and a June 2021 cargo at a $0.23 discount, two sources said.

GSPC has also issued a tender for a late June cargo.

There were several supply tenders too, including those from Angola, Papua New Ginea and Russia’s Sakhalin 2 plant.

European gas prices have rebounded from their end of May lows amid fluctuations in Norweigian and Russian exports and a reduction in LNG sendout from some terminals in continental Europe.

The Dutch month-ahead contract was trading close to $2 per mmBtu on Friday for the first time in over a month, Refinitiv price data showed. (Reporting by Ekaterina Kravtsova; editing by Nina Chestney)

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