India Is Hungry for LNG Cargoes After Prices Crash Back to Earth
(Bloomberg) -- Indian firms are returning to the liquefied natural gas spot market as prices for the fuel recede from record-high levels.
Importers including Indian Oil Corp. and Petronet LNG Ltd. have issued at least eight tenders seeking supplies for February to March delivery in the last two weeks. So far, four of them have been awarded. Most end-users stopped buying cargoes from late-December, when spot rates began to skyrocket.
The country’s LNG buyers can afford to be more opportunistic than rivals because the fuel in India is used mostly in industrial applications rather than power generation, and it competes against fuel oil instead of coal. The purchases follow a spate of panic buying by North Asia consumers who sought to secure supplies amid colder-than-expected weather.
The resurgence of demand from India and other regional buyers may help support Asian spot prices from falling much further. Pakistan LNG Ltd. saved about $30 million by scrapping a tender seeking March cargoes that closed Jan. 15 due to high prices, and re-issued a new one that closed earlier last week.
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