UPDATE 1-Japan spot LNG import price rises to highest this year

 (Adds milestone, detail, graphic)
    By Aaron Sheldrick
    TOKYO, Nov 11 (Reuters) - Prices for spot liquefied natural
gas (LNG) cargoes imported into Japan, the world's biggest buyer
of the fuel, rose to a 2020 high in October, recovering from
record lows earlier this year as demand recovers from the
COVID-19 pandemic.
    The average contract price for spot LNG cargoes shipped to
Japan in October rose to $6 per million British thermal units
(mmBtu), according to data released by the Ministry of Economy,
Trade and Industry (METI) on Wednesday.
    That was higher than $4.50 mmBtu in September and $2.20
mmBtu in May, the data showed.
    The price for LNG cargoes imported into Japan - reflecting
actual prices paid rather than those derived from surveys or
indices - has more than doubled since its May low, when the
pandemic eviscerated demand for gas and other commodities.
    The world's third-largest economy is slowly recovering from
its biggest post-war economic contraction and now has relatively
low numbers of new daily coronavirus infections, even as a fresh
wave ravages Europe, the United States and other parts of the
    Industrial activity is returning, driving demand for
electricity, with LNG being one of Japan's main fuels for power
    METI surveys spot LNG cargoes bought by Japanese utilities
and other importers, but excludes deals linked to benchmarks
such as the U.S. natural gas Henry Hub index.
    It only publishes a price if there is a minimum of two
eligible cargoes reported by buyers.

 (Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Devika Syamnath)