Wednesday, March 13, 2013
LNG Spot Prices Up 90% Over 2 Years
TOKYO (Nikkei)--Prices of liquefied natural gas and fuel oil remain at elevated levels because of rising demand since the idling of nuclear power plants in Japan.
Demand is also growing for use in power generation in China and South American countries.
The spot price of Japan-bound LNG is now at about 17.25 dollars per million British thermal units, up 91% from just before the March 2011 disaster. It rose to the upper 19 dollar range in early February, its highest level since the summer of 2008.
The spot price of the 0.3%-sulfur-content fuel oil imported by Japan is up 6% from pre-quake prices to 760-770 dollars per ton, according to Rim Intelligence Co., which provides energy-related data.
Japan imported 87.31 million tons of LNG in 2012, up 25% from 2010. Supply and demand have firmed up as Brazil and Argentina, which do not have enough rainfall to generate much hydroelectric power, have procured LNG at high prices, along with China.
"Emerging countries are having a greater influence on spot prices," says an official at a major power company.
(The Nikkei, March 13 morning edition)