Platts: Asia Spot LNG Prices for August Delivery Gain 6.8% on Supply Disruptions

On a Year-On-Year Basis, August Prices Were 2.9% Higher Versus 2012

Jul 19, 2013, 12:43 ET from Platts

SINGAPORE, July 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Monthly average prices of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for August delivery to Asia rose by 6.8% from July, reaching $15.46 per million British thermal units (/MMBtu) as increased summer demand in North Asia was met with limited spot availability in both basins, according to the latest monthly Platts Japan/Korea Marker (JKM) data for month-ahead delivery. The monthly average of the Platts JKM for delivery in August was assessed over the period of June 17 to July 15.

This is the first month-on-month gain in the monthly average JKM after it peaked at $19.139/MMBtu for March deliveries. The average August JKM was also 2.9% higher from a year earlier, breaking the consecutive year-on-year drop in the monthly average JKM recorded from May to July.

Prices of Platts JKM for August delivery climbed as North Asian buyers increased inventories to cover summer spot requirements. Meanwhile, higher-than-expected temperatures in the region supported higher LNG demand for power generation purposes. Mean temperatures in June hit 22.6 degrees Celsius in South Korea – the highest level recorded for the month since 1973 according to data from the Korea Meteorological Administration. Neighboring Japan also experienced warmer-than-average weather.

However, the main driver for the steeper gains in August JKM came towards the end of the assessment period due to the third force majeure of the year at Nigeria LNG. As many as 15-20 cargoes had reportedly been lost from the facility, with delays to many others reported following a 21 day blockade of the loading port by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency over a dispute regarding unpaid fees.

"Numerous traders and sellers found themselves short due to the supply disruptions in Nigeria and started bidding up for replacement cargoes, especially for late July and first-half August delivery," said Sarah Cottle, editorial director of power, Asia and Europe, for Platts, a leading global energy, petrochemicals and metals information provider and a premier source of benchmark price references. "Strong demand amid limited availability of spot cargoes for immediate delivery drove pricing offers higher. This was particularly noticeable in the bid/offer activity in the Atlantic basin, where a large portion of available supply was already committed to term buyers who exercised their 'upward quantity tolerance' clauses earlier in the year."     

August spot prices for thermal coal and fuel oil – which Asian utilities can use as substitutes for LNG – remained on a downward slide. Thermal coal prices dropped 0.9%, while fuel oil also saw a 0.4% decline, according the Platts' latest month-over-month data for August.


Platts Spot JKM and Substitute Fuel Prices (Monthly Averages)*




Change %

Change %

JKM ($/MMBtu)






Qinhuangdao coal ($/MMBtu)






180 CST fuel oil ($/MMBtu)






Source: Platts


*Referred to as month-ahead, the figures in the table are monthly averages of daily values
assessed by Platts from June 17th to July 15th. The Platts JKM rolls on the 16th of each
calendar month


The Platts JKM is an assessment of LNG prices for spot cargoes delivered to Japan and South Korea, based on the most recent trades and/or bids and offers from buyers and sellers in the open market prevailing at the close of the trading day. The monthly JKM assessments are month-ahead delivered prices and are an average of the daily JKM price assessments reported by Platts.

For more information on natural gas or the methodology used by Platts in its power assessment processes, visit the Platts website

Platts' monthly reports on Asia LNG prices and market developments are typically published shortly after the 15th of each month.

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