February 10, 2015 / 3:31 AM / 5 years ago

Japan LNG spot price falls to $10.20/mmBtu in Jan

TOKYO, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Liquefied natural gas (LNG) spot
prices for Japanese buyers fell for the third straight month in
January, Japan's trade ministry said on Tuesday, as winter
demand failed to materialise to the extent hoped.
    Spot LNG contracted in January for delivery to Japan
averaged $10.20 per million British thermal unit (mmBtu), down
from $11.60 a month earlier, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and
Industry (METI) said. Cargoes arriving last month averaged
$13.90 per mmBtu, compared with $15.10 in December.
    Traders said Japanese utility Tohoku Electric in
January purchased an LNG cargo for delivery in the third week of
March at a price in the low $7 per million British thermal unit
(mmBtu) range. 
    Asian spot liquefied natural gas prices slipped to trade at
a discount to European prices for the first time since 2011, as
weak demand weighed, traders said on Friday. 
    Japan, which takes about a third of the world's LNG imports,
shipped in a record 88.51 million tonnes last year due to the
extended shutdown of nuclear plants, but some analysts expect
imports to fall this year as some reactors are expected to
resume operations.  
    Japan started releasing spot LNG prices in April 2014 to add
transparency to the market amid concerns about rising fuel costs
in the wake of the shutdown of nuclear plants after the
Fukushima crisis. The average spot price is based on about 10
percent of the nation's purchases of the super-chilled fuel.
    The METI survey looks at samples of fixed prices for LNG
sold to power companies and utilities among others, and excludes
spot deals linked to benchmark prices such as the U.S. natural
gas Henry Hub index.
    For the monthly price report from METI, click (here)
    The following table lists monthly prices for LNG in million
British thermal units for spot cargoes contracted during the
month and for those that arrived during the month.
   Month     Contract price     Arrival price
     Jan             $10.20            $13.90
     Dec             $11.60            $15.10
     Nov             $14.40            $14.30
     Oct             $15.30            $12.40
    Sept             $13.20            $11.30
     Aug             $11.40            $12.50
    July             $11.80            $13.80
    June             $13.80            $15.00
     May             $14.80            $16.30
   April             $16.00            $18.30
   March             $18.30               n/a

 (Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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