Asia-Europe price gap narrows on Asian LNG tenders

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SINGAPORE (ICIS) – The spread between the European TTF and the East Asia Index (EAX) has narrowed further over the past two weeks as Asian demand has increased, particularly in Southeast Asia and Japan. The market saw a wave of Asian tenders for summer deliveries, narrowing the price gap.

The abundance of LNG heading to Europe, combined with above-normal wind generation and rising storage levels, put pressure on the TTF. However, market sentiment remains relatively bullish regarding the TTF. Spot prices rose on June 9 in Europe and Asia after Freeport LNG’s US plant was shut down due to a fire. The outage is expected to last at least three weeks. Up to 13 cargoes could be affected, increasing the potential for spot tenders in the Atlantic and Pacific basins.

Tenders

IEASA received bids from eight companies on June 8 for its latest tender for 13 shipments with delivery windows from July 20 to August 28. BP, Shell, Total, PetroChina, RWE and trading houses Trafigura, Vitol and Gunvor submitted offers. The validity of the offers is until June 9th.

Japanese utility Tohoku Electric launched a tender in August which closes on June 9.

EGAS is offering loading cargo from June 28-29 through a tender closing June 13.

Pakistan LNG relaunched a DES tender on July 3-4 after rejecting two bids last week. The call for tenders closes on June 10.

GSPC did not award its DES call for tenders from October 1 to 15, which closed on June 7. But a tender for four cargoes for the first halves of November, December and January awarded at least two cargoes in the middle range of $27/MMBtu to $28.00/MMBtu.

GAIL has issued an exchange tender offering three FOB 2023 cargoes of Sabine Pass for July, August and September loading in exchange for three DES cargoes for delivery July 8-12, August 4-6 and September 8 to 10 in Dahej.

American LNG

The 15 mtpy US Freeport LNG plant will remain closed for at least three weeks after a fire on June 8. This could represent a loss of approximately 940,000 tonnes of LNG, or more than 13 shipments, depending on average shipment size and production.

China Gas Holdings has signed a 25-year, 0.7 mtpa LNG sale and purchase agreement on an FOB basis with US-based Energy Transfer, the company announced on June 6.

US Cheniere has received FERC approval to start cooling the S-101 LNG tank at its Sabine Pass plant.

Norway Supply

A major scheduled one-day maintenance in Norway was scheduled for June 8. It has reduced its production by around 290 million m3/day until June 9.

New planned maintenance in Norway will reduce capacity by a total of 130 million m3/day from June 9 to 15.

The 140,000 m3 Arctic Voyager loaded LNG and left Norway’s Hammerfest plant on June 6, signaling Skagen in Denmark. This is the first time the 4.3 mtpy LNG plant has restarted loading since it went offline in late September 2020.

Asian activity

Tangguh LNG’s facility in Indonesia has a downed train due to a mechanical problem. It should be back online in a week.

Japanese activity has recently picked up. JERA is in the market for summer cargo, and Tohoku Electric is also looking for summer cargo.

Shipping Diversions

The 174,000 m3 LNG enterprise seems to be turning away from Italy towards Asia. After waiting several days in front of the Italian Offshore LNG Toscana terminal, the vessel controlled by Total is now heading for the Suez Canal.

The 171,000 m3 BW Aranthera pavilion seems to be moving away from Europe and towards Asia. The vessel is controlled by Pavilion Energy of Singapore, loaded with US cargo.

The 174,000 m3 Gaslog Gibraltar diverted from its route to Terminal Gate and headed for Asia instead.

Richard L. Militello