Japan’s Ministry of Industry drops monthly LNG spot price data

By Yuka Obayashi and Aaron Sheldrick

TOKYO, May 19 (Reuters)Japan will stop releasing monthly LNG spot price data as it achieved the goal of understanding the dynamics of fuel distribution, the demand for which increased after the Fukushima disaster, the ministry said on Tuesday. Industry.

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), the world’s largest buyer of liquefied natural gas (LNG), last released data for March. It started publishing the average spot LNG prices arriving in the country in 2014.

Soaring LNG prices at the time, as Japan scrambled to source supplies to make up for lost power generation capacity after its nuclear sector was shut down by the Fukushima disasters in 2011, led to record trade deficits for the world’s third-largest economy.

This prompted METI to introduce measures to try to develop more liquid markets in order to lower LNG prices.

“We have achieved our initial goal of investigating the distribution situation in the LNG market,” a ministry official told Reuters on Tuesday.

Japan’s influence in the LNG market is waning as Chinese demand for fuel has increased amid a shift in that country to replace polluting coal for heating and power needs.

However, Japan remains vulnerable to supply shocks, as evidenced by price squeezing during a cold snap last winter that saw Japanese buyers compete with China for tighter supplies, leading to lower prices. cash records LNG-AS.

Japan, which relies mainly on long-term contracts tied to oil prices for its LNG supplies, is also still struggling to restart its long-failed nuclear sector.

See METI’s latest post on preliminary spot prices here:

METI had studied spot LNG cargoes purchased by Japanese utilities and other importers and published a price if there were at least two eligible cargoes declared by buyers.

The ministry excluded cargoes whose prices were linked to benchmarks such as the US Henry Hub Natural Gas Index.

(Reporting by Yuka Obayashi, writing by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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