Friday, January 07, 2011

Asian Spotlight: LNG Demand Increase in Asia Signals 2011 Rally: Energy Markets

January 06, 2011, 5:06 PM EST

By Dinakar Sethuraman

Jan. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Liquefied natural gas demand in Asia is poised to rise for a second year in 2011, signaling a rebound in the fuel’s spot prices after a 32 percent drop in November.

The region’s imports may increase 5 percent this year, after jumping almost 12 percent in 2010 and falling 2.9 percent the previous year, according to Sook Ching Wong and Alexis Aik of FACTS Global Energy, a Singapore-based energy consultant. Japan, the world’s biggest LNG buyer, paid $9.40 per million British thermal units for deliveries in November, compared with about $14 a year earlier, according to Japanese customs data.

Asian nations are boosting imports to meet rising demand from consumers and manufacturers just as colder-than-normal weather in Europe and plant shutdowns from Nigeria to Norway curtail supplies. Japan’s purchases rose about 10 percent to 63 million metric tons in the first 11 months of 2010 from a year earlier and South Korea’s climbed 30 percent to 29.3 million tons, according to customs data.

“Demand for spot LNG in Asia this winter will remain healthy and prices will reflect this,” said Maria Bitri, a London-based analyst with Clarkson Plc, the world’s largest shipbroker. “We are seeing quite significant activity in the spot market.”

Read more of the report here.

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek


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