Bloomberg News

Japan Boosts Spot LNG Purchases After Quake Shuts Nuclear Plants

September 13, 2011

Sept. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Japan increased spot purchases of liquefied natural gas to fuel power plants in July compared with a year earlier, after the March 11 temblor and tsunami reduced the country’s nuclear and coal-fired generation capacity.

The world’s biggest buyer of the fuel bought 537,151 metric tons, or at least nine spot cargoes, from Egypt, Trinidad & Tobago, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea, according to data from the Ministry of Finance posted on its website. That compares with a similar number in June and one cargo a year earlier.

Spot cargoes delivered to Japan averaged about $775 a ton in July, equivalent to about $14.9 per million British thermal units, rising from $722 a ton in June, according to the data. The number of spot cargoes was the highest since September 2008 when Japan bought at least 11 shipments, the data showed.

Term purchases, typically linked to a basket of imported crudes into Japan, cost $925 a ton from Indonesia and $933 from Qatar, according to the data.

For both term and spot LNG purchases, Japan paid $868 a ton on delivered terms, compared with $775 a ton in June and $672 a ton in July 2010, according to the data. LNG imports totaled 6.4 million tons in July.

In August, Japan’s 10 regional power utilities imported 5.28 million tons of LNG, compared with 4.28 million a year earlier, the Federation of Electric Power Companies said today.

--Editors: Ryan Woo, Baldave Singh.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dinakar Sethuraman in Singapore at dinakar@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski at akwiatkowsk2@bloomberg.net.


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