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GLOBAL LNG-Asian LNG price drops as deals done at record lows

By Ekaterina Kravtsova

* Price falls to a new all-time low

* Sale tenders dominate the market

* Floating cargoes build up in Europe

By Ekaterina Kravtsova

LONDON, May 1 (Reuters) - Asian spot prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG) fell this week with some deals done at record lows, as demand was depressed globally amid coronavirus-related lockdowns.

The average LNG price for June delivery into northeast Asia <LNG-AS> was estimated at a new record low of around $1.85 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) on Friday, $0.10 per mmBtu lower than the estimate last week.

As lockdown restrictions reduced industrial demand and prompted buyers to reschedule long-term LNG deliveries, sellers were left with excess volumes, flooding the market with offers in the past several weeks.

This week, Inpex Corp sold a cargo from Australia's Ichthys plant for loading in May at $1.70-$1.75 per mmBtu on a delivered ex-ship (DES) basis, which traders said was a record low price.

Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Co (KUFPEC) offered a spot cargo from the Wheatstone plant in Australia for June 21 to 26 loading.

The tender was awarded to BP at around $1.70 per mmBtu on an free-on-board (FOB) basis, two sources said.

Papua New Guinea LNG export plant offered a cargo for loading on June 3 if bought on a free-on-board (FOB) basis or for delivery on June 12-15 to Japan, Korea, Taiwan or China if purchased on a delivered ex-ship (DES) basis.

The project also sold a June cargo, via bilateral talks, to BP at around $1.85-$1.90 per mmBtu, a market source said.

Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) awarded a tender for two June cargoes to U.S. producer Cheniere and German's Uniper, three sources said. The prices were between $1.10 and $1.50 per mmBtu on an FOB basis, they added.

Russia's Sakhalin 2 plant awarded its tender for six cargoes loading between June 2020 and February 2021.

Some cargoes were sold at a premium to the S&P Global Platts Japan Korea Marker (JKM), market sources said.

The plant also offered a cargo for June loading this week, one of them said.

Offers also came from Argentine oil company YPF SA which offered a cargo for loading in May and Angola's LNG project which was selling a cargo for delivery in May.


DEMAND

Global demand for LNG remains low, with only few buyers seeking cargoes, trade sources said.

Mexican state power utility CFE was seeking a cargo for delivery in May to the Manzanillo LNG terminal on Mexico's west coast.

Colombia's Calamari LNG import project was looking for a partial cargo for delivery in the first half of May.

Europe has become this week an epicentre of vessels used as floating storage as the coronavirus pandemic has severely disrupted gas demand, leading to delays in tanker discharges, analysts said.

Up to 11 tankers out of 15 floating with cargoes on board globally were piling up off the shores of Europe or were expected to deliver cargoes there, data intelligence firm Kpler said. (Reporting by Ekaterina Kravtsova; editing by Nina Chestney)