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Asian Gas Glut Forces Key Buyers To Cancel Orders

LNG tanker

A Singaporean buyer of a U.S. cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) has canceled the loading, the company told Reuters on Tuesday, as both Asia and Europe are facing an LNG glut as the winter heating season starts to set in.

Pavilion Energy, a Singapore-based natural gas importer and trader, has canceled the loading of a U.S. cargo but will still pay for it, industry sources have told Reuters. The company was originally scheduled to load the cargo from the Cameron LNG plant in Louisiana, according to the sources.

“Pavilion Energy evaluated scheduling and other commercial matters, then took the decision not to lift the cargo in full coordination with the supplier,” a spokeswoman for the company told Reuters, without providing further details.

Some other customers of U.S. LNG cargoes are also reportedly considering paying for those cargoes but not loading them, traders told Reuters.

Weak LNG and natural gas prices in Asia and in Europe have weighed on gas importers and traders who find themselves unable to resell the cargoes they have bought because of ample gas inventories and a glut of LNG supply from newly started projects around the world.

Storage in Europe is full, as low LNG spot prices amid abundant supply and weaker Asian spot demand have helped Europe to fill its storage tanks to more than average levels this summer.

In Asia, milder weather in the world’s top two LNG importers—Japan and China—leads to weaker demand amid ample supply.

Last week, Asian LNG spot prices dropped for a fourth consecutive week, with traders telling Reuters that further drops could be expected.

The average price for December delivery was US$5.40 per million British thermal units (MMBtu), which was down by US$0.30/ MMBtu compared to the previous week. Inventories are more than enough, while milder than usual weather for this time of the year in China and Japan weighs on buying demand in the region.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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