SINGAPORE: Asian liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices slipped this week, though the fall was limited by potential supply disruptions from the United States where a deep freeze prompted energy outages in Texas, with natural gas wells and pipelines frozen shut.

The average LNG price for April delivery into Northeast Asia LNG-AS was estimated at about $6.40 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), down about 20 cents from the previous week, sources said.

Prices for cargoes delivered in March were estimated at about $6.90 per mmBtu, steady from the previous week, they added.

Only three LNG cargoes loaded from US ports for export since Monday, shiptracking data from Refinitiv Eikon and data intelligence firm Kpler showed. The United States is the world’s third-largest LNG exporter and typically loads about two cargoes a day, traders said.

One trader estimated that about two to three cargoes bound for Asia could be disrupted, though this could not immediately be confirmed.

Still the impact is expected to be minimal as operations resume. According to Kpler, at least one LNG tanker has berthed at Sabine Pass while two more ships have diverted from Corpus Christi towards Sabine Pass.

In tenders, Qatar Petroleum Trading placed the lowest offer for a cargo sought by Pakistan LNG for delivery over April 9 to 10 at a slope rate of 10.025pc against Brent crude oil.

India’s Reliance likely bought a cargo for delivery over Feb. 28 to March 2 at $6.20 to $6.30 per mmBtu while GSPC bought a cargo for delivery over March 7 to 9 at $6.25 to $6.30 per mmBtu, industry sources said.

India’s Petronet and Indian Oil Corp are seeking cargoes for late February to March delivery, they added.

Mexico’s CFE bought two cargoes for prompt delivery in February, likely as a result of the cold snap, from Shell at about $8 per mmBtu, they said.

Kuwait Petroleum Corp likely bought a cargo for March 17 to 18 delivery at $6.20 to $6.30 per mmBtu, the sources said.

Published in Dawn, February 20th, 2021

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