Rio de Janeiro - Asian spot prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG) jumped nearly 50% this week to a record high, based on available data going back to 2009, as logistical issues disrupt supply to the world’s top consuming region.
The average LNG price for February delivery into northeast Asia LNG-AS is estimated to be around $21.45 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), according to pricing agency S&P Global Platts, up 47% from the previous week ($14.60).
The price is a record high since Platts started assessing the Japan-Korea-Marker (JKM) in Feb. 2009, which combines deals from some of the world’s biggest consumers and became the reference price for spot deals.
Spot Asian LNG prices led the global energy complex last year, gaining more than 140% on booming demand and outages in key suppliers.
The rally this week - eight months after the JKM fell to an all-time low of $1.82/mmBtu - partially results from strong demand for heating during a colder-than-average winter and a shortage of supply in key producing countries such as Malaysia.
Japanese power generators are reducing run rates on their gas plants as they compete with LNG buyers across northern Asia. Demand is also expected to grow in China.
In addition, there have been logistical constraints in bringing supply from the United States and Europe to the Pacific.