LNG: Mar 16-20: DES NE Asia gains amid tight supply/demand
--DES Northeast Asia
DES Northeast Asia prices strengthened. Availability for April to first-half May delivery was dwindling. On the other hand, a number of players considered buying May delivery. Supply/demand fundamentals for prompt cargoes tightened. Korean end-users showed buying interest for May delivery and Japanese power companies also contemplated purchasing. Kyushu Electric Power suspended the 890 megawatt No.1 unit of the Sendai nuclear power plant on Mar 16 because the construction of anti-terrorism facilities would not be completed by the deadline of Mar 17. Since operation of solar power generation was high, Kyushu Electric Power did not reportedly have to buy additional LNG. Problems apparently occurred at the Maizuru coal power plant (2 units with combined output 1,800MW) of Kansai Electric Power. The power plant was expected to halt operations for two to three weeks. As supply/demand for power was loose during a low demand season, some sources reckoned that power demand could be met without raising the operating rates of thermal power plants that use other fuels.
--FOB Middle East, DES South Asia and the Middle East
FOB Middle East, DES South Asia and Middle East prices gained. Ahead of the monsoon season in India, daytime temperatures in Mumbai in the south and New Delhi in the north of the country rose to about 35 degrees Celsius and power demand for power generation increased.In India, GAIL bought and sold August and September cargoes via a buy tender and a sell tender closed Mar 12. GAIL offered cargoes loading from the 11.30 mil mt/year Cove Point project in the US in May, August and September and looked for May, August and September delivery cargoes for delivery to West India. In addition, GSPC bought one cargo each for delivery in June, August and November delivery via a tender closed on Mar 11. The tender was conducted for 11 cargoes for delivery to India in April through March 2021.
--FOB Atlantic, DES Europe and South America
Turkey's state-run Botas reportedly bought several cargoes via a buy tender closed Mar 11 for six April arrival cargoes. The awarded prices were said to have been at a discount of around 10cts to the Netherland's TTF market although winners were not known. Meanwhile, Botas began purchase of May delivery cargoes. The company closed a buy tender on Mar 19 for four May arrival cargoes. Market sources perceived that Turkey reduced pipeline gas intake from Iran from the beginning of this year. Botas was said to cover the loss with LNG.