*Latest data shows Japanese LNG buyers paid a record low $2.40/mn BTU for spot cargoes purchased in April, with Reuters spot Asian LNG assessments falling below $2/mn BTU for the first time ever late in the month. The lowest recorded price was the sale by Kuwaiti overseas upstream firm Kufpec of a late-June loading cargo from Australia’s Wheatstone plant to BP at $1.70/mn BTU. Prices have since edged higher to $2.40/mn BTU on a slew of cancellations of US export cargoes.
*These record low spot prices contrast sharply with the latest comprehensive Asian import data which shows prices for now remaining stubbornly high. Japanese importers paid an average of $9.89/mn BTU for March, four times the spot level. Unlike Japan, comprehensive Korean data is available for April. But this too shows no sign of a fall. On the contrary, Korean buyers paid an average of $9.44/mn BTU for April imports, up from $9.14/mn BTU for March. (CONTINUED - 1001 WORDS)