LNG prices continue to soar as buying ahead of winter starts

LNG prices continue to soar as buying ahead of winter starts
An LNG tanker passes boats along the coast of Singapore. (Reuters)
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Updated 25 September 2021

LNG prices continue to soar as buying ahead of winter starts

LNG prices continue to soar as buying ahead of winter starts
  • Bangladesh pays nearly $30/mmBtu for prompt cargo - sources
  • China and Turkey seek cargoes for winter

SINGAPORE: Asian liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices surged by about 10 percent this week as demand continues to rise in the region despite higher prices and amid a supply crunch.
The average LNG price for November delivery into Northeast Asia was estimated at about $26.50 to $27 per metric million British thermal units (mmBtu), up at least $2 from the previous week, industry sources said.
“The post-COVID recovery in some places has been fast, which is pushing up demand, while there are some supply issues in several places, which is causing a crunch,” a Singapore-based trader said, adding that prices are expected to rise even higher during winter when demand for heating peaks.
Bangladesh, for instance, bought a cargo for delivery in late September from Vitol at $29.89 per mmBtu, the highest the country has paid for the super-chilled fuel, three industry sources said.
It did not award a separate tender seeking a cargo for October delivery as the offer was at around $35, two other sources said. Instead, it will issue two tenders next week to buy two cargoes for delivery in October, a third source said.
Demand from China was also firm with Unipec Singapore, the trading arm of Sinopec, seeking 11 cargoes for delivery in winter while Beijing Gas and Guangzhou gas also sought a cargo each for delivery in October and November, traders said.
Turkish state energy company Botas is also seeking 20 cargoes for delivery in winter, while Thailand’s Egat was seeking two cargoes for delivery in October, they added.
Some spot cargoes were offered in the market from Angola, Australia, Russia and Indonesia from October to January, but lower shipments from Egypt and Malaysia were supporting prices, traders said.
Cameron LNG in the US said on Wednesday the liquefaction train shut for maintenance at its Louisiana export plant was expected to return later this week, which could add some supply.


China’s exports and imports reach all-time highs

China’s exports and imports reach all-time highs
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 12 sec ago

China’s exports and imports reach all-time highs

China’s exports and imports reach all-time highs
  • The country’s trade surplus hit $71.7 billion in November

Exports and imports in China grew annually by 22 and 32 percent in November when compared to a year earlier, reaching all-time records.

Exports went up to $326 billion while imports rose to $254 billion, Bloomberg reported, citing China's customs administration.

However, exports growth experienced a slowdown during the month, falling from October’s 27.1 percent to 22 percent. This was attributed to a thinning demand and a rise in costs.

In contrast, imports growth picked up pace significantly, rising to 32 percent as the East Asian country replenished its inventories of some commodities such as coal. This is compared to the lower 20 percent growth experienced in the previous month.

Coal imports in the country climbed to the highest level since the start of the year to supply its power system.

The country’s trade surplus hit $71.7 billion in November, down from October’s level of $84.5 billion.

While the country continues to notably recover from the pandemic, it still suffers from a number of problems, including power shortfalls and debt issues in the property sector.


Inflation in eurozone economies is transitory: IMF

Inflation in eurozone economies is transitory: IMF
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 07 December 2021

Inflation in eurozone economies is transitory: IMF

Inflation in eurozone economies is transitory: IMF
  • The reason the IMF gave this assessment is that the hikes in consumer prices didn’t turn into wage increases

Despite inflation hitting a record high last month in the euro area, the International Monetary Fund said that the rise in prices is transitory and not worrisome.

Annual inflation rate in the zone reached 4.9 percent in November, Reuters reported.

The reason the IMF gave this assessment is that the hikes in consumer prices didn’t turn into wage increases, also known as the second-round effect.

It pointed out that, meanwhile, monetary policy should remain loose.

The international lender also stated that governments in the euro area should continue backing their economies to overcome the adverse effects initiated by the pandemic. The organization added that fiscal consolidation is not urgent, but its plans should be readily available now.

“Policies should remain accommodative but become increasingly targeted, with a focus on mitigating potential rises in inequality and poverty,”the IMF said.

I took a quote from the source since it's reuters.


Bahrain aims to reduce government shares in listed companies

Bahrain aims to reduce government shares in listed companies
Updated 07 December 2021

Bahrain aims to reduce government shares in listed companies

Bahrain aims to reduce government shares in listed companies

JEDDAH: Bahrain aims to reduce government ownership in listed companies, the CEO of the Bahrain Bourse has said.

The country aims to list more governmental companies to encourage the private sector to follow the lead. 

At least two governmental firms are currently close to listing, including the Bahrain Airport Company,  Khalifa Al Khalifa added in an interview with Al Arabiya.

Bahrain Bourse has also reached an agreement with Abu Dhabi to facilitate direct trading between the two markets.

It is also implementing a four year strategy ending in 2026, to develop the financial market sector by listing more companies, including small and medium-size enterprises, Al Arabiya reported.


Oil prices exceed $70 pushing aside omicron concerns

Oil prices exceed $70 pushing aside omicron concerns
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 07 December 2021

Oil prices exceed $70 pushing aside omicron concerns

Oil prices exceed $70 pushing aside omicron concerns
  • Meanwhile, companies made offers on Monday to buy crude oil released from US strategic reserves

JEDDAH: Oil prices rose to $70 a barrel earlier on Dec. 7, as concerns eased about market demand and as fears of the omicron variant waned, Bloomberg reported.

Brent crude futures were up $1.66, or 2.3 percent, at $74.74 a barrel by 1005 GMT, after settling 4.6 percent higher on Monday.

US West Texas Intermediate crude was at $71.30 a barrel, up $1.81, or 2.6 percent, building on a 4.9 percent gain in the previous session.

At the weekend, Saudi Arabia increased the cost of its crude for buyers in Asia and the US, signaling that it still sees strong demand despite the wave of restrictions by various national governments in response to the latest variant of the COVID-19.

Meanwhile, companies made offers on Monday to buy crude oil released from US strategic reserves, according to Bloomberg.

The winning bids for the first 32 million barrels will be announced on Dec. 14. 


At least two oil refiners have expressed interests. 

The US release of crude is part of the Biden administration’s efforts to control gasoline prices, Bloomberg said.


UAE bank credit falls for first time since May; deposits rise

UAE bank credit falls for first time since May; deposits rise
Updated 07 December 2021

UAE bank credit falls for first time since May; deposits rise

UAE bank credit falls for first time since May; deposits rise

Gross credit in the UAE declined by a monthly rate of 0.8 percent in October to hit 1.76 trillion dirhams ($480 billion) on falls in both domestic and foreign credit, according to data published by the country’s central bank.  

The October decline in gross credit is the largest since March and is in contrast to September's performance, when it rose 0.3 percent month-on-month. 

Domestic credit went down due to drops related to the government, public, and private sectors. Credit provided to non-banking financial institutions rose by 2.7 percent, the central bank said in a press release issued Dec. 6.

In September, domestic credit increased by 0.2 percent to 1.6 trillion dirhams, while foreign credit, which includes loans, trade bills and advances to non-resident companies other than banks, grew 0.8 percent to 164.4 billion dirhams. 

Bank deposits in the UAE went up by a monthly rate of 1.3 percent in October to hit 1.97 trillion dirhams. This was the fifth consecutive month of growth and is the highest monthly rate since June.

This was mainly attributed to a 1.7 percent rise in residential deposits, offsetting a 1.7 percent drop in non-residential deposits. 

Outside of residential deposits, government and public sectors experienced the highest increases, jumping by 5.5 percent and 3 percent, respectively. At the same time, private sector deposits edged up slightly, rising by only 0.6 percent.

The monthly rate of growth in deposits accelerated from 0.7 percent recorded in September when resident deposits grew 0.3 percent to 1.7 trillion dirhams while non-resident deposits jumped 3.7 percent to 243.2 billion dirhams.    

The central bank also said that the gross banks’ assets increased by 0.7 percent in October when compared to the previous month. The balance stood at 3.27 trillion dirhams by the end of the month.

The UAE’s monetary base, which includes currency issued and bank reserves among others, grew by 1.3 percent month-on-month in October. This was driven by widenings in both issued currency and banks’ current accounts and overnight deposits with the central bank.

Moreover, M1, a monetary aggregate encompassing currency outside banks and short-term monetary deposits, underwent a 0.5 percent monthly increase in October. This was attributed to jumps in both of its components.

Additionally, a wider measure of money, M2, rose by 0.8 percent on more quasi-monetary deposits and a higher M1. Quasi-monetary deposits consist of residential time and savings deposits in local currency in addition to residential deposits in foreign currencies.

Similarly, M3 increased due to larger government deposits as well as higher M1 and M2.