geopolitics-00919
LNG TANKER - Ship at dawn moored to the gas terminal

After extremely high prices of liquefied gas in Asia in January and February this year due to severe cold and the consequent increased demand for this energy source, interesting news of a similar nature is coming from the Asian LNG market again.

Of course, any increase in gas prices in Asia is very much reflected in the issue of liquefied gas supply to Europe, given that behind its production are mostly private producers who are guided by the primary logic of profit when it comes to their export destinations – ie. gas is first exported where they can make the most money (if there are no firm contracts and most often there are none, so the spot market dominates), which we witnessed this winter when it came to deliveries of American liquefied gas to European terminals.

At that time, there was a real race whose tankers would reach Asian terminals faster, and even, due to traffic jams through the Panama Canal due to a large number of gas-packed American tankers waiting to pass from the Atlantic to the Pacific as the shortest route to East Asia, them opted for a time-long maritime route (and thus more expensive), through the Suez Canal and further through the Indian Ocean to the gas of the always thirsty great Asian states.
Thus, gas prices continue to rise in Asia. Its price has already broken several season records. Meanwhile, several liquefied gas tankers from Russia’s Yamal LNG production terminal in the Arctic are on their way to Japan via the shortest possible route – the Northern Sea Route. This is confirmed by the data from the navigation portals Marinetraffic and Vesselfinder.

It is known that on June 13, the Russian LNG tanker Nikolay Urvantsev left the port of Sabetta on the Yamal Peninsula, and on July 1 it should arrive in the Japanese port of Shiogamu. At the same time, tanker Georgy Ushakov left Yamal LNG on June 21 and plans to arrive at the Japanese port of Fushiki-Toyama on July 7. Tanker Eduard Toll entered the Northern Sea Route two days ago and announces that it will disembark at the Khibiki LNG terminal by July 17th.

The supply of Russian liquefied gas from the Yamal terminal to Asia is also carried out through Europe – the western direction of the Northern Sea Route, which allows suppliers to reduce delivery times from five to three weeks. And now it is more relevant for Asia than ever. Demand for gas in the region continues to grow. At the same time, gas prices in the US are rising, and European prices are following prices in Asia, while local consumers have to pay more to get the load “off the field”.

“JKM (the benchmark of LNG spot prices for North Asia) is currently trading at its highest seasonal level since 2013,” Bloomberg journalist Stephen Stapzinski said in his tweet. On June 22, according to the CME Group, gas for North Asia with deliveries in August was traded at a price of $ 426 per thousand cubic meters. Today, June 30 – $ 460 per thousand cubic meters.

As Japanese companies are not participants in the Yamal LNG project or its direct clients, they obviously buy fuel on the spot market at a high price from the French company Total or the Russian company Novatek, which is the majority owner of the project.