Tokyo — The Platts JKM for cargoes for March delivery ended the Asian trading week at $5.80/MMBtu Friday, rising 85 cents from last week on higher demand for prompt cargoes to replace volumes lost from Russia's Sakhalin-2.
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Several deals were said to have been done at around $6/MMBtu for prompt delivery this week including a Nigerian cargo sold at the price on a DES basis for February/H1 March delivery into East Asia.
A Japanese company was said to have bought a cargo, also at around $6/MMBtu, for delivery at the end of February.
Sakhalin Energy informed long-term customers on January 28 that a force majeure had been declared because of power issues at the Sakhalin-2 liquefaction plant that cut its LNG output by 50%.
The company, however, never confirmed a force majeure.
The force majeure was said to be in place from late January to early March, according to a source close to a long-term buyer.
A reload cargo was sold to Trafigura at Zeebrugge for February loading and the Swiss trader had chartered the Corcovado ship to deliver it to Egypt, according to shipping sources.
Interest in European reload cargoes for delivery to the Middle East picked up as prompt supply was limited because of cargoes being absorbed by the sudden rise in demand in East Asia, market sources said.
Toward the end of the week, however, there was some doubts over the prolonged effect of Sakhalin on LNG prices due to lower crude.
Demand from those who need to fill their short positions also eased by Friday as portfolio sellers wanted to close their short positions before the Lunar New Year, according to a Singapore-based trader.
Sakhalin was offering up to two cargoes a month over April 2016-March 2017 via a supply tender and it delayed the closing to February 24 from February 2 due to the production issues at its plant.
Meanwhile, Japan's Tohoku Electric secured two cargoes earlier this week from portfolio sellers at mid-$5s-$6/MMBtu via tender, several sources said.
South Korea's Komipo awarded a buy tender for a partial rich cargo for delivery over March 6-9 to the Gwangyang terminal in the high $5s/MMBtu.
In shipping, the Ob River left Sakhalin on Wednesday and is now heading to Kyushu Electric's Tobata LNG receiving terminal in Japan, according to cFlow, Platts trade flow software.
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