Asian spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) fell this week, tracking gas prices in Europe, amid muted demand from China as the Lunar New Year holiday reduced trading activity in north-east Asia.
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The average LNG price for March delivery into north-east Asia fell to $25.00 per metric million British thermal units (mmBtu), down $2.00 or 7.4per cent from the previous week, industry sources said.
The average price for April delivery was seen at $27.50/mmBtu, they added.
"LNG prices are set for continued volatility as we head through the rest of winter. European gas fundamentals are softening, with LNG imports hitting record highs, while Russian pipeline imports are recovering from their slow start to 2022," said Edmund Siau, LNG analyst at consultancy FGE.
"However, the European gas market remains tight, and Russia-Ukraine tensions mean that a healthy risk premium is baked into current TTF (Dutch gas) prices. Several Asian buyers have re-emerged to purchase cargoes to replace inventories, and we expect more spot procurement activity in the coming weeks," he added.
Europe continues to be reliant on LNG amid low Russian gas supply. The arbitrage between Asia and Europe - or cargo diversion from one market to another - has been shifting back and forth, and there is a risk that European LNG imports could slow in case of any increase in Asian demand and prices.