*Japanese importers paid a record average price of $18.5/mn BTU for spot LNG cargoes contracted in January. The average price paid for cargoes that arrived in January, at $15.5/mn BTU, was also a record.
*An indication of just how rapid the run up in prices was, the average price paid for cargoes contracted in December was just $7.4/mn BTU. Typically, cargoes are purchased 3-6 weeks ahead of their planned arrival date, and as such December-contracted cargoes could be expected to roughly corelate with January arrival ones. That the prices diverge so widely suggests that a large part of January-arrival volumes were prompt cargoes purchased after the start of January. (CONTINUED - 405 WORDS)