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Platts JKM Weekly: Nov LNG at $8.60/MMBtu extends weekly gains on firm demand

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Platts JKM Weekly: Nov LNG at $8.60/MMBtu extends weekly gains on firm demand

The Platts JKM for LNG cargo deliveries in November ended the week at $8.60/MMBtu, up 20 cents/MMBtu on the week and its highest level since January, as steady demand from end-users and traders helped support prices.

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Portfolio players were reported to be scouring the market to fill short positions in North Asia while demand from India bolstered the market's bullish sentiment.

Offers remained around $8.70/MMBu for H2 November throughout the week while bids were seen at around $8.50/MMBtu for H2 November.

The results of a few buy tenders underlined the bullishness of the market. China's CNOOC was heard later in the week to have more than four cargoes initially reported, draining the Q4 spot supply pool.

The top Chinese importer had purchased up to seven cargoes from mostly trading houses and portfolio players, multiple sources said.

Expectations that Chinese buyers would continue to show strong appetite after their long holiday also offered support.

LNG importers from India moved back into the spot market after the end of the country's monsoon season. Reliance was seeking October and November cargoes while Gail was looking for November and H1 December cargoes.

Both were heard this week awarded their tenders, although details remained unknown.

Market sources said Indian buyers were tapping the spot market, driven by power demand growth post-monsoon as well as replacements for coal power generation as domestic coal mining production had been hampered by the monsoon rains.

Portfolio player Petronas was reported to have concluded a deal for an October 27-28 loading GLNG shipment to Shell, market sources said.

One source reported this transaction was done above $8.40/MMBtu DES North Asia for H1 November delivery, but this could not be confirmed.

With the JKM at the highest levels since January this year, some market participants appeared to be staying on the sidelines to see how the market would perform going forward following the recent run-up.

Others also noted that fresh supply could emerge from Russia's Sakhalin, Indonesia's Donggi Serono and potentially reload cargoes out of the Atlantic.

--Eriko Amaha,
--Edited by Maurice Geller,