* Several cargoes trade below $3 per mmBtu – sources
* Four Asia-bound LNG tankers divert destination – sources
* Fifteen LNG tankers floating cargoes at sea – Kpler
By Jessica Jaganathan
SINGAPORE, Feb 14 (Reuters) – Falling demand from China drove Asian spot prices for prompt deliveries of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to new lows this week of around $2.70 per million British thermal units (mmBtu).
China’s transport, commercial and industrial sectors have all been affected by the fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak, traders said.
The average LNG price for March delivery into northeast Asia LNG-AS fell to $2.70 per mmBtu this week, down 25 cents from the previous week, several industry sources said.
Prices for cargoes delivered in April are estimated to be $2.80 per mmBtu, they added.
Several cargoes exchanged hands this week at below $3 per mmBtu, traders said, indicating there was too much supply in the spot market.
Russia’s Sakhalin 2 plant has sold a cargo for loading on March 16 to Japan’s Mitsui at $2.70 to $2.80 per mmBtu, industry sources said.
Gail (India) bought a cargo for delivery into Dabhol, India, on a delivered ex-ship (DES) basis for Feb. 23 to 28 delivery at $2.40 to $2.50 per mmBtu, they said.
It separately sold a cargo from the Cove Point plant in the United States on a delivered ex-ship basis into Europe for a February to March delivery, and likely did not award another cargo it had offered for loading in April from Cove Point, one of the sources said.
India’s Reliance bought a cargo for delivery into Hazira in March at $2.50 per mmBtu, the sources added.
India’s GSPC bought 7 cargoes for delivery over April to October at prices ranging from $2.50 to $3.30 per mmBtu, they said.
The spot deals for February to March are the lowest the cargoes have ever traded, traders said.
The coronavirus outbreak that started in China and has affected more than 60,000 people globally has had a wide impact on LNG demand which had already been depressed from mild weather.
Four LNG tankers, including three Qatari vessels bound for North Asia, have changed destination or diverted after the coronavirus outbreak hit gas demand in China, sources said.
In addition, 15 LNG tankers are also flagged as “floating storage” globally, with 11 of them scattered across Asia, Rebecca Chia, LNG analyst with data intelligence firm Kpler told Reuters on Thursday.
Traders appear to have shrugged off cargo loading disruptions in Western Australia after a powerful cyclone that swept across parts of the region last weekend.
Supply was still ample with Angola LNG offering a cargo for March delivery, an industry source said. Colombia’s Calamari LNG is seeking late February delivery while Thailand’s PTT is seeking up to 2 cargoes, industry sources said. (Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan; editing by Philippa Fletcher)