Photo: Courtesy of Tokyo Gas

Japanese spot LNG prices hit historic highs

Prices of spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) imported into Japan have hit levels that initially prompted the government to start monitoring the market in March 2014.

Japanese spot LNG prices hit historic highs
Courtesy of Tokyo Gas

Data from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry shows that the price of spot LNG contracted during January 2021 reached $18.5 per mmBtu.

This is above the $18.3 mmBtu reported in March 2014, the highest price reported previously. It is also well above the $7.4/mmBtu reported in December 2020.

It is also well above the contract-based price of $5.9 per mmBtu reported in January 2020.

The price of spot LNG arriving into Japan in January 2021 reached $15.5 per mmBtu. This compares to $6.8 per mmBtu reported in December 2020.

It is also well above the $6 per mmBtu reported in the corresponding month in 2020.

The January 2021 arrival-based price is also the highest since May 2014 when it reached $16.3 per mmBtu.

The ministry surveys only spot LNG cargoes purchased by Japanese utilities and other importers.

It excludes cargo deals linked to a particular price index such as the US Henry Hub and the JKM.