Data from LNG Edge, which is part of the ICIS LNG Market Intelligence Solution, shows that global LNG supply increased 10% in the third quarter of 2017 from the previous year. Chinese demand increases helped absorb new supply.
New liquefaction projects coming onstream in Australia and the US drove the year-on-year increase in global LNG supplies in the third quarter of 2017, permitting increases in demand in most import regions around the world, according to the new quarterly Trade Flow Report released on Thursday, 19 October, by LNG Edge.
The report shows that East Asia’s imports for Q3 2017 were up 13% from the third quarter of the previous year, driven in particular by higher consumption in China and South Korea. Imports to the world’s single biggest LNG importer, Japan, slipped back slightly on the year.
Europe also had an annual increase in deliveries, rising by 19%, particularly to the Mediterranean countries of Spain, Portugal and Italy, where Atlantic basin and Middle Eastern producers may have found a convenient home for spare cargoes.
Spot LNG prices trended higher across the quarter, with the ICIS East Asia Index rising from $5.50/MMBtu at the start of the quarter to $8.70/MMBtu by its end. Prices increased sharply, particularly in east Asia, in late September, when disrupted loadings at the US Sabine Pass facility after Hurricane Harvey led producers to buy cargoes to cover short positions in the Pacific.
“Spot prices have shown strong gains in the approach to winter,” said LNG market analyst Alex Froley. “The market will now be watching to see the impact of new projects due onstream in the next few months in Australia, Russia and the US.”
Australia’s Wheatstone, Russia’s Yamal LNG and the US Cove Point project are all due to load their first cargoes this winter.
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