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Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews. 

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Supply Concerns Lead To Record High LNG Spot Prices In Asia

  • LNG spot prices in Asia jumped to $59.672 per million British thermal units on Thursday.
  • Traders are avoiding Russian LNG, just like they are steering clear of Russian crude.
  • Asian buyers are competing with European buyers for spot cargoes, driving up prices.

The spot prices of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Asia jumped to a record-high of $59.672 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) on Thursday, as the market panics over natural gas supplies following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The price of spot LNG, the Japan-Korea-Marker (JKM) benchmark for the region, as assessed by S&P Global Platts, soared this week to beat the previous record of $56.326/MMBtu set in October 2021. Back then, the market was tight ahead of the winter in the northern hemisphere, with Europe and Asia experiencing energy crises.

Now the winter is nearly over, but the Russian war in Ukraine has begun, spreading panic on all commodity markets that there would be disruption of energy supplies.

In addition, traders are avoiding Russian LNG, just like they are steering clear of Russian crude.

According to vessel-tracking data from Refinitiv Eikon cited by Reuters earlier this week, several LNG tankers from Yamal LNG in Russia have switched status to “For Orders” in the past days, from previously signaling France and the UK as destinations. 

Currently, Europe is a strong pull for LNG cargoes, with prices there also rallying amid concerns that Russian pipeline gas supply could be disrupted or cut off any day now.

The European benchmark natural gas price surged on Thursday morning to hit a new record-high for a second consecutive day, trading at the equivalent of $360 per barrel oil, as concerns over the disruption of Russian gas supply mount.

The market is increasingly apprehensive about a potential disruption to natural gas supply—be it additional sanctions targeting Russia’s energy, a possible Russian retaliation to sanctions by halting pipeline supply, or a direct hit on a pipeline carrying gas from Russia via Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the EU is drafting plans to reduce its dependence on Russian gas, while the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday that the

European Union could reduce its reliance on Russian natural gas by more than one-third within a year by turning to other suppliers and using other energy sources.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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Leave a comment
  • Mamdouh Salameh on March 04 2022 said:
    This is another reason why the United States and the European Union (EU) haven’t sanctioned Russian oil and exports.

    Moreover, the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) plan to reduce the EU’s dependence on Russian gas supplies is as futile and unachievable as its discredited net-zero emissions 2050 roadmap.

    The EU will remain dependent on Russian gas supplies for at least the next ten years unless Russia decides to switch all its exports to the EU to China instead, the world’s largest energy market.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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