Asian spot prices rise on air-conditioning demand

An LNG tanker is tugged towards a thermal power station in Futtsu
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//File Photo

June 25 (Reuters) - Asian spot prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG) rose this week on firm demand for the power generation fuel, as a warmer than usual summer in different parts of the world boosted electricity usage for air-conditioning.

The average LNG price for August delivery into Northeast Asia was estimated at about $12.50 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), up $0.80 from the previous week, industry sources said. read more

Temperatures in Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul, and Shanghai are expected to be higher than average over the next two weeks, weather data from Refinitiv Eikon showed, which could reduce inventories and increase gas demand for cooling.

In the United States, forecasts for hotter weather over the next two weeks also helped push natural gas futures to a 29-month high, at a time of smaller-than-expected storage build and rising exports.

Europe gas storage is below the average of the past five years, increasing demand for restocking.

"You have more air-conditioning use and low stocks pushing prices up," one London-based trader said.

Disruptions on the supply side also kept the market tight. Russian producer Sakhalin Energy said it plans to stop output for around a month starting in July to carry out maintenance.

Competition between Asian and European buyers for cargoes has increased. Taiwan surprised the market by seeking a 10-cargo purchase for delivery between August and December, and offers due on June 28.

BP offered $0.10 over the Platts LNG benchmark known as KJM for a cargo for August delivery to PipeChina Tianjin, in China.

Petronas sold a cargo from PFLNG Dua for delivery in August for around mid-$12.

A group behind a terminal project to import LNG into Brunsbuettel on the German North Sea said it will ask authorities by the end of June for planning permission, in a decisive step for the project.

Reporting by Sabrina Valle; editing by David Evans

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