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Chinese trucked LNG price hit by improved Central Asia flows, looming New Year

Chinese domestic trucked LNG prices have fallen this week because ofimproved gas flows from Central Asia and despite cold weather, marketparticipants said, adding the upcoming Lunar New year was also a factor.

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Greater volumes through Central Asia pipelines have been recorded sincelast Friday, days after China National Petroleum Corp announced a near 50% cutin gas delivery for downstream non-residential usage on January 31.

The higher gas transmissions alleviated tightness in supply in northChina, causing domestic trucked LNG prices to fall, sources said. Average domestic trucked LNG prices in China fell 19% over four days to5,693 Yuan/mt ($899/mt) Wednesday, according to Shanghai Petroleum and NaturalGas Exchange, which monitors trucked LNG transactions from 50 LNG terminalsand factories.

The fall in domestic prices reversed rises seen after the CNPC announcedthe reduction in gas deliveries. A weaker domestic LNG market could dampen the appetites of Chineseimporters to replenish LNG inventory levels ahead of the Lunar New Yearholiday in the middle of the month.

Since the CNPC cutback, the government was said by sources to be in talkswith Turkmenistan about the resumption of gas supplies.

Participants also attributed tepid industrial activity ahead of the LunarNew Year holiday as a major contribution to falling trucked LNG prices.

"Trucked LNG suppliers are clearing away stocks ahead of the Lunar NewYear, logistics and procurement activity simply come to a halt," one Chineseend-user said.

--Shi Yun Fan, shiyun.fan@spglobal.com

--Edited by Dan Lalor, daniel.lalor@spglobal.com