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Platts JKM™ LNG Prices for September Delivery Plunged 33.1% on Weak Demand

September LNG prices fell 5.8% month over month, narrowest change since March

SINGAPORE, Aug. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Prices of spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) for September delivery to Asia plummeted 33.1% year over year to an average $10.702 per million British thermal units (/MMBtu), the latest Platts Japan/Korea Marker (Platts JKM™) for month-ahead delivery showed. The drop came as increased supply in the region continued to outweigh lackluster demand.

On a month-over-month basis, the September JKM was down 5.8% from August. The data reflects the daily Platts JKM for September assessed between July 16 and August 15, and expressed as a monthly average.

"The results of Australia's North West Shelf LNG tender for cargoes loading in September, October and November showed a steep contango* building into the traditionally high-demand winter season," said Stephanie Wilson, managing editor of Asia LNG at Platts, a leading global energy, petrochemicals and metals information provider and a premier source of benchmark price references. "This prompted some buyers in Japan to purchase cargoes for October at prices significantly above those seen in September."

At $10.702/MMBtu, the average Platts JKM for September was the lowest monthly average on record since April 2011, and reflected the largest year-over-year decrease in 2014.

Despite the year-over-year plunge for average September-delivery prices, the month-over-month decline was the narrowest since March, when prices began their rapid descent.

After beginning the assessment period at $10.775/MMBtu July 16, spot prices bottomed at $10.525/MMBtu August 1 as a slew of supply tenders in the Asia-Pacific basin hit the market. It was the lowest daily spot price seen since Friday, March 11, 2011, when the JKM was $9.90/MMBtu. The spot JKM had spiked to $10.95/MMBtu on March 15, 2011, in the wake of the Great Eastern Earthquake and resulting Fukushima crisis in Japan.

The Platts JKM began its rebound on August 8, gaining a total of 40 cents before ending the assessment period at $11.025/MMBtu August 15. This brought a close to five consecutive months of declines and reversed the downtrend in spot prices.

"The removal of deferment clauses on cargoes loading from train 1 of the new ExxonMobil-led Papua New Guinea integrated LNG project also fuelled the more bullish sentiment, as traders and sellers can now compete for these cargoes too," Wilson explained. "On the other hand, end-user inventories remained high despite higher temperatures in Japan and South Korea in recent weeks, giving buyers flexibility in their delivery schedules. Numerous projects in Asia also continued to offer additional supply to the spot market, which could suggest a cap to potential price increases."

The prices of possible competing fuels were both down month over month: Fuel thermal coal and fuel oil were down 6.0% and 2.6%, respectively, over the July 16 to August 15 assessment period.

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


Sep-14

Sep-13

Aug-14

Year-over-Year Change %

Month-over-Month Change %

JKM ($/MMBtu)

10.702

16.005

11.365

-33.1

-5.8

Qinhuangdao coal ($/MMBtu)

3.40

3.92

3.61

-13.4

-6.0

180 CST fuel oil ($/MMBtu)

15.38

15.77

15.80

-2.5

-2.6

Source: Platts
*Referred to as month-ahead, the figures in the table are monthly averages of daily values assessed by Platts from June 16th 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. The monthly reports on Asia LNG prices and market developments are typically published shortly after the 15th of each month.

* Contango is the condition whereby prices for nearby delivery are lower than prices for future-month delivery

About Platts: Founded in 1909, Platts is a leading global provider of energy, petrochemicals, metals and agriculture information and a premier source of benchmark prices for the physical and futures markets.  Platts' news, pricing, analytics, commentary and conferences help customers make better-informed trading and business decisions and help the markets operate with greater transparency and efficiency.  Customers in more than 150 countries benefit from Platts' coverage of the biofuels, carbon emissions, coal, electricity, oil, natural gas, metals, nuclear power, petrochemical, shipping and sugar markets.  A division of McGraw Hill Financial (NYSE: MHFI), Platts is based in London with more than 1000 employees in more than 15 offices worldwide. Additional information is available at http://www.platts.com.

About McGraw Hill Financial: McGraw Hill Financial is a leading financial intelligence company providing the global capital and commodity markets with independent benchmarks, credit ratings, portfolio and enterprise risk solutions, and analytics. The Company's iconic brands include Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, CRISIL, J.D. Power and McGraw Hill Construction. The Company has approximately 18,000 employees in 30 countries. Additional information is available at www.mhfi.com.

SOURCE Platts

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