Spot deals make up more of global LNG market as Russian, U.S. sellers get flexible

Spot deals make up more of global LNG market as Russian, U.S. sellers get flexible

Spot trades and other short-term deals are making up more of the transactions in the global liquefied natural gas (LNG) market as producers in the U.S. and Russia offer more flexible volumes and traders increasingly handle cargoes.

Spot and short-term LNG trades made up 32% of overall import volumes in 2018, up from 27% of imports in 2017, the International Group of LNG Importers (GIIGNL) said in its annual report.

Cargoes delivered in less than three months from the transaction date increased to 25% of the market in 2018, compared with 2% in 2017, the GIIGNL said.

Australia was the biggest exporter of spot and short-term volumes in 2018 as new projects in the country started up, followed by the United States and Qatar, the GIIGNL said.

"Qatar’s share of spot volumes dropped to 12% from 20% as it lost its position as the leading supplier of flexible volumes," Reuters cited the group as saying.

The three biggest LNG importing countries - Japan, China and South Korea - absorbed just over half of the global spot volumes traded, while India’s spot purchases increased as its natural gas demand growth exceeded domestic production, the group said.

Overall, the global LNG market grew by 8.3% from the previous year to nearly 314 million tonnes in 2018, more than three times the size of the market in 2000, GIIGNL said.

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