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July JKM surges on robust Chinese demand, oil prices

Highlights

The Platts JKM for July rose $0.75/MMBtu week-on-week to $9.55/MMBtu DESNorth Asia Friday on the back of robust Chinese buying interest driven bydomestic supply concerns, and amid sustained strength in European gas hub andoil prices.

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Bullish sentiment pervaded the market as Chinese buying interest wasreported for both Q3 and Q4 deliveries. Sources said that state-ownedcompanies needed to act early under a previous government mandate to securesupply for the winter.

Prompt demand from the country also stemmed from ongoing pipelinemaintenance issues largely in east China, sources said.

Malaysia's Petronas on Tuesday awarded a single-cargo sell tender for aJune 23 loading PFLNG cargo, for delivery to China, according to sources. Bidswere submitted on online trading platform GLX Monday, but sources saidbilateral negotiations resulted in a higher price awarded.

Market participants also indicated that a handful of short-coveringrequirements, amid current oil price environment, might have also resulted insome higher-priced deals.

Strong deal prices were heard concluded throughout the week, with anAsia-based trading firm selling a late-July cargo for delivery into northeastAsia this week at $9.40/MMBtu.

In addition, a portfolio player mid-week sold an August-delivery cargointo northeast Asia at close to $9.70/MMBtu to a trader, according to sources.

A Western Japanese utility was heard to have offered a late-Julydelivery cargo for a time-swap deal, and seeking a February cargo in return,according to two market participants familiar with the process.

The cargo was heard to have been sourced from Australia. The end-user wasalso heard to be keen on an outright sale on a fixed-price basis, with bidsexpected by May 25.

Donggi Senoro's July 6-7 delivery DES sell tender, which drew strongerthan expected bids, was heard awarded at close to $9.10/MMBtu to a tradinghouse. However, another market source said that the cargo had been awarded toThailand's PTT, though this could not be confirmed.

Likewise, South Korea's Komipo tender seeking a cargo delivery July 21-25was also heard awarded at $9.20/MMBtu to $9.30/MMBtu.

In India, Gail awarded its single cargo buy tender seeking a June 10delivery, possibly around $8.90/MMBtu, two traders said.

Compatriot IOC issued a single cargo buy tender for a June 27delivery DES Dahej. The tender closes May 30, with validity until May 31.

Summer demand from the power sector was resulting in more incrementalspot buying. BPCL was heard to have issued a buy tender seeking a July 25delivery to port Dahej. The tender closes on May 29, with bids remaining validtill May 31.

Gail was also heard in the market with a single-cargo buy tender seekinga July delivery. The tender closes May 30, with validity till May 30.

--Kenneth Foo, kenneth.foo@spglobal.com

--Edited by Alisdair Bowles, alisdair.bowles@spglobal.com