Morgan Stanley (MS:US) is loading a liquefied natural gas carrier in Spain for export to Japan, two people with knowledge of the matter said.
The LNG Swift tanker is headed for Tokyo Gas Co.’s import terminal at Sodegaura in Chiba prefecture, the country’s largest, one of the people said, who declined to be identified because the information isn’t public. The other person said the buyer was a Japanese utility.
A tanker is due to load 125,000 cubic meters of LNG at Cartagena in southeast Spain from today through July 22, according to the website of Enagas SA (ENG), Spain’s gas-network operator. The company didn’t provide the vessel’s name. The LNG Swift, with a capacity of 127,580 cubic meters, arrived at Cartagena today, IHS Inc. (IHS:US) data on Bloomberg show.
LNG fell for a seventh week to $14 a million British thermal units, according to World Gas Intelligence’s latest assessment published yesterday. Prices for delivery to Northeast Asia in four to eight weeks reached a three-year high of $18.40 a million Btu on May 28, according to WGI. That was the highest in more than three years.
Japan, the world’s biggest market for LNG, purchased a record 83.18 million metric tons from overseas in the fiscal year ended March, up 18 percent from the previous 12 months, the finance ministry said in April. That followed the closure of its nuclear power stations in the wake of meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant in March 2011.
Morgan Stanley’s cargo is worth more than $41 million at current Asian spot prices, according to Bloomberg calculations. Hugh Fraser, a spokesman for the bank in London, declined to comment when reached by phone today.
Spain is prioritizing its domestic coal industry over gas for power generation. Combined with weaker fuel demand because of the economic crisis, the country is oversupplied with gas, stimulating re-exports of previously-imported gas from storage tanks at terminals.
Sixteen LNG cargoes were re-exported from Spanish terminals last year, according to data from Paris-based lobby group International Group of Liquefied Natural Gas Importers, known as GIIGNL.
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