Average LNG import prices have seen gains in Northeast Asia as prices across the major importers have risen in the same month for the first time since May 2014.
Japan’s average LNG import price was $7.7/MMBtu in March – a rise of 6% year on year. Prices in South Korea were up by 8% on an annual basis, to $7.8/MMBtu, while in China prices were up by 4%, to reach around $7/MMBtu. Taiwan saw the greatest annual gains in the region, with prices rising by 32%, to $7.6/MMBtu. Prices in Japan and China were broadly flat on an annual basis in February, while prices rose in South Korea and Taiwan. March 2017 was the first month since May 2014 when an annual rise was seen across all four markets. The increase in oil prices pushing up the price of oil-indexed supplies was the primary driver for the rise. GGA expects Brent crude to see further gains and to increase to $58 per barrel in 2018, which would further force up average LNG prices in Northeast Asia following the three-month lag that is typical for most oil-indexed contracts.
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