LNG price trends
While the decline in average LNG import prices in key Northeast Asian markets has eased, spot prices in the region will continue to fall over the coming months.
The average price of Japan’s imports rose to $7.85/MMBtu in February. This left prices broadly flat year on year, marking the first month since November 2014 when prices have not fallen materially on an annual basis. The recent rise in oil prices has pushed up the average price of oil-indexed contract supplies, countering the declines seen last year. In South Korea, the average price of imported LNG was $8.02/MMBtu in February, a rise of 3% on an annual basis, while Chinese LNG import prices averaged $7.04/MMBtu, making them flat year on year. Rising Brent crude prices – which will move from an average of around $55 per barrel in 2017 to $58.2/bbl next year – will result in further increases in the oil-indexed contract prices that dominate Northeast Asian LNG supply this year and in 2018.
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