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Global LNG-Prices Extend Losses as New Supplies Emerge

Source: Al Masry Al Youm 9/26/2015, Location: Africa

Asian liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices for November delivery fell, marking the sixth straight week of losses for the fuel, as fresh supply weighed on market sentiment, though some traders saw potential for an upswing later this month.

The price of Asian spot cargoes for November delivery slumped to $6.80 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), 10 cents below last week's assessment.

"The market is wobbling around, there's a risk it has been over dumped...sentiment is bearish but not on the physical side," one Europe-based trader said.

Japanese buyers have re-emerged this week to scout buying opportunities to cover their winter needs, a trader said, which when combined with low hydroelectric reservoir levels in Brazil could help revive tepid demand for cargoes.

Brazil's state-run energy giant Petrobras may seek LNG to cover hydroelectric shortfalls, setting the stage for a potential November price rebound, although this was not assured, sources said.

In the meantime, a run of low demand plaguing Asia's top LNG importers Japan and South Korea continued to weigh on prices and contribute to a supply glut made worse by a wave of new LNG export plants in Australia and the United States.

Santos said its Gladstone liquefaction plant started production on schedule, adding its first cargo would be shipped to Asian markets within weeks.

China imported 3.51 percent less LNG in the year-to-date, compared with 2014, customs data showed. In a sign of resurfacing demand, Japanese utility Tohoku Electric awarded a closed tender to buy a November cargo, while sources said it was on the lookout for later deliveries.

Gail India sought a cargo for November deliver. Korea Midland Power Company was also seeking a cargo for deliver in Oct. 10-25, it said on Friday in a reissued tender. Yet fresh supplies overwhelmed scarce demand.

Indonesia's Tangguh facility made available five shipments between October-November, while Australia's North West Shelf project put an early November-loading cargo on the market.

Russia's Sakhalin II export plant tendered to sell 18 cargoes from 2016 through 2018, coming on top of recently offered spot supplies.

In Egypt, the state-run gas buyer delayed by several weeks to mid-October the award of a highly-anticipated 45-cargo buy tender, traders said.

Supply purchased under the tender will be delivered into the country's second floating import terminal, which is set to arrive by the end of the month, shipping firm BW Maritime said.

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