China expects stable LNG prices in March

01 February 2013 08:00  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS) --China is expected to see more transactions for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in March, but prices will be largely stable as demand and supply are likely to grow in tandem, industry sources said on Friday.

“It is difficult for LNG prices to climb in March as supply is also rising, even if downstream demand rebounds,” one LNG supplier based in southwest China said.

LNG prices usually increase in March when demand from industrial users and power companies rebounds when resuming operations after the Lunar New Year holiday. China is celebrating the holiday on 9-15 February this year.

Domestic LNG supply is likely to rise significantly in the first quarter as a number of new liquefaction plants are scheduled to come on stream during the period, suppliers said.

China is expected to start up 18 new plants with a combined liquefaction capacity of 8.1 million cubic metres (mcm)/day in the first quarter, and two of them are already in operation, according to data compiled by ICIS.

The start-ups of most projects were planned in the fourth quarter of 2012, but were delayed to 2013 as a result of longer-than-expected construction time and insufficient gas supplies, ICIS data showed.

The country has a liquefaction capacity of 25.55mcm/day in 2012 and is planning to start up 64 new plants with a total capacity of 49.83mcm/day this year, the data indicated.

By: Jane Han

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