LNG: Apr 25-28: JERA and Tohoku Electric manage to cover demand for prompt delivery
End-users including JERA, Tohoku Electric Power Co and Kansai Electric Power Co (KEPCO) skipped spot procurement for May to June delivery. LNG demand was basically weak in the current season. Additionally, although several coal-fired power plants halted operations due to an earthquake that had occurred on Mar 16, JERA and Tohoku Electric Power already met their demand prior to late April. The Japanese government announced its policy to stop importing Russian coal and power companies voluntarily reduced purchase gradually. Strong LNG demand as a substitute for coal was not observed at the moment. Power companies including JERA skipped renewing long-term and short-term contracts for Russian coal that would be expiring in April to June and abstained from spot procurement. The market, however, showed no signs of major disruptions. Only some companies using Russian coal as a fuel internally at their factories such as Hokkaido Electric Power Co (HEPCO), whose purchase volume includes a high proportion of Russian coal, steel manufacturers and chemical manufacturers seemed to contemplate buying LNG as a substitute for coal.
--FOB Middle East, DES South Asia, South east Asia and the Middle East
Oman LNG was still moving on spot sales. In the weak demand season in the Northern Hemisphere, major term customers including Korea Gas Corp (KOGAS) as well as Osaka Gas Co Ltd were taking fewer term cargoes. Thus, Oman LNG seemed to have more spot availability. The producer was offering a May loading cargo from the 10.50mil mt/year Oman project to several end-users on a Northeast Asia delivered basis on May 29-31. Apart from that, Oman LNG had another spot cargo for May 21-23 loading from the project and was negotiating privately, as reported.
--FOB Atlantic, DES Europe and South America
Argentina's state-run IEASA closed its buy tender on Wednesday for 12 partial cargoes to be delivered to the 6.10mil mt/year Escobar terminal as well as the 3.70mil mt/year Bahia Blanca terminal during June to July. IEASA was expected to buy cargoes if offers were submitted at $30.00-32.00. The delivery dates for the Escobar terminal were on Jun 2, 5, 8, 13, 18, 23, 28 and Jul 2. Those for the Bahia Blanca terminal were on Jun 12, 19, 26 and Jul 3.