PERTH, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Asian spot LNG prices continued toclimb toward $19 per million British thermal units (mmBtu),supported by strong winter demand from China, Japan and SouthKorea.
China is facing a gas shortage which has sent it trawlingfor LNG cargoes just as top importers Japan and South Korea arestockpiling supplies for winter.
Asian LNG prices were at around $18.60 per mmBtu,up from $18.30 last week.
China's LNG imports have already jumped 20 percent in theyear to October and will likely continue to rise as the countrycommissions a series of new LNG receiving terminals in thecoming months.
With extra Chinese demand and new LNG import capacity,prices of the super-cooled fuel may reach $20 per mmBtu beforethe end of the year, trade sources said.
Last week Qatargas delivered the commissioning cargo of LNGto China's new Tangshan LNG terminal, while the country's firstfloating LNG terminal is expected to start operation nextmonth.
Several other terminals are expected to come online nextyear. For a related factbox, see.
In Latin America, demand has weakened from levels seenearlier this year with the arrival of the southern hemispheresummer.
"Spot demand out of Argentina and Chile seems to have pulledback a bit as they enter into their summer season. We could seesome additional spot demand out of Brazil if hydro levels arenot replenished," Waterborne LNG analysts said in a note.
On the supply side, Indonesia's Donggi-Senoro LNG has pushedback first production to March 2015 from an earlier target of2014.
The delay in the Donggi-Senoro LNG project means only twonew projects -- Exxon Mobil's PNG LNG and BG Group's Queensland Curtis Island LNG -- are scheduled to comeonline in the Asia Pacific region in 2014, resulting in afurther tightening of expected global LNG supplies.
- Commodity Markets