Asia gas prices rise as buyers prepare for extreme temperatures

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Temperatures in N.Asian countries expected to be higher than average temperature.

Fire put out at the Gazprom Gas Condensate Plant in Yamal.

HOUSTON, Aug 6 - Spot prices for liquefied natural gas in Asia rose this week to the highest price at this time of the year since 2013, as buyers prepare for more extreme temperatures amid a supply crunch.

The average LNG price for September delivery into Northeast Asia was estimated at about $16.90 per million British thermal units up $1.30 from the previous week, industry sources said.

Demand for LNG, mainly used in thermal plants to generate electricity, rises during the northern hemisphere summer to meet air-conditioning needs.

Temperatures in Beijing, Tokyo and Shanghai are forecast to be warmer than average over the next two weeks, increasing short-term demand for cooling, weather data from Refinitiv Eikon showed. Additionally, buyers are already securing demand ahead of the winter.

Prices usually fall during Summer and Winter and peak in between, but this time the shoulder season effect was squeezed, a London-based trader said referring to the period between summer and winter demand periods.

Last winter, spot prices rose to record highs above $33 per mmBtu amid the production constraints in export countries. Since then, China has failed to replenish inventories, competing with Europe for scarce spot demand with China, a top consumer with world market capacity.

Beijing Gas bought one cargo to be delivered between Sept 26 - 30 to Yuedong terminal at a price well above $15 per mmBtu in a tender in which it was seeking three cargoes, industry sources said.

China's Shenzhen Energy bought a cargo for Aug. 19 - 27 delivery to the same terminal at $16.20 per mmBtu, they said.

PetroChina sold a cargo for delivery to S&P Global Platts in China over Sept. 4-8 at $16.14 per mmBtu during the Fujian terminal in China.

The fire at Gazprom's Yamal gas preparation facility on Thursday supported prices, traders said.

Record exports earlier this year from the United States helped make up for production disruptions in the East, but the amount of gas flowing to export plants has slipped. Volumes fell from 10.8 billion cubic feet per day in July to 10.4 billion bcfd so far in August. That compares with a record in April of 11.5 BCFD.