Asia LNG spot prices hit record high, S&P data shows

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A liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker is tugged towards a thermal power station in Futtsu, east of Tokyo, Japan November 13, 2017. REUTERS/Issei Kato

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LONDON, March 4 (Reuters) - Asia liquefied natural gas (LNG) spot prices hit a record high of more than $59 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), tracking a surge in European gas prices on concern over tight supply after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Price agency S&P Global Commodity Insights' Japan-Korea-Marker (JKM), which is widely used as a spot benchmark in the region, climbed to $59.672 per mmBtu on Thursday, data showed.

Its previous record was set in October 2021 when it hit $56.326/MMBtu.

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Prices for spot LNG cargoes delivered in the same period last year were around $6 per mmbtu.

"Global consumers are shunning Russian gas and LNG in response to the continuing war in Ukraine, pushing prices higher as short-term energy security and reliability take precedence over energy transition priorities," said Rystad Energy senior LNG analyst Kaushal Ramesh.

The benchmark Dutch front-month gas price hit a new record high near 199 euros per megawatt hour (MWh), equivalent to $64.5/mmBtu, on Thursday. It traded at an equivalent of $56.4/mmBtu on Friday.

"The arbitrage (cargo diversion from one market to another) signal for marginal cargoes in the Atlantic is heavily slanted to Europe, as Asian buyers may be unwilling to replicate the price surge on the TTF beyond a notional $50/Mmbtu," Ramesh added.

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Reporting by Marwa Rashad; editing by David Goodman and Jason Neely

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