Quarterly report – Q2 2021 – International natural gas prices

  • In a context of post-Covid economic recovery and an induced rebound of the prices of all energy commodities, the second quarter 2021 saw an unprecedented and steady rally of international spot prices, driven by growing European and Asian gas demand. 
  • In Europe, low gas inventories, an unseasonable and persistent cold weather as well as the highest recorded carbon prices have propelled the TTF price, which provided a strong upside to Asian spot prices. 
  • During the second quarter, Asian spot prices rose even faster than European spot prices because of surging Chinese LNG demand, rising oil prices and LNG supply outages. This results in a growing price premium to the European price. During the second half of June, Northeast Asian spot LNG prices have jumped by $2 to $13/MBtu at the end of the month, more than $10/MMBtu higher than they were this time last year and their highest levels since 2014 for the same summer period. 

Quarterly report – Q1 2021 – International natural gas prices

  • Low storage inventories, combined with robust winter demand in both Asia and Europe kept spot prices relatively high in the first quarter 2021.
  • In the first half of January, Asian and European spot prices spiked to all-time highs as extremely cold weather coincided with tight supply. The Northeast Asian spot price peaked at $30/MBtu by mid-January, opening the widest premiums on record.
  • European and Asian spot prices retreated in the second half of January as buying focus shifted to the March and April shoulder months. Moreover, temperatures had warmed and nuclear availability improved in Japan, while supplies were creeping up in Asia.

Quarterly report – Q4 2020 – International natural gas prices

  • In the last quarter 2020, international spot prices continued their upward momentum to exceed last year’s price levels. Asian spot prices in particular rose impressively to peak at a six-year high of 12$/MBtu at the end of the year. 
  • This recent and unexpected spike in Asia was fuelled by Chinese LNG demand, which is rising amid a colder than average winter, and also healthy weather-driven gas demand in other parts of Northeast Asia. On the supply side, diverse LNG plants’ outages limited available LNG supplies. Tight shipping and exorbitant shipping rates also tightened supplies. 
  • In this context, more and more LNG cargoes were redirected from the Atlantic Basin to Asia. In December, the price spread between the US and Asia reached its highest in two years. The Asian spot price premium versus TTF also peaked to more than 3.5$/MBtu.