LNG deliveries to Europe and Turkey plummeted by almost 19% last week to nearly 3.2bcm as French strikes disrupted cargo arrivals, with supply expected to remain limited this week, Kpler ship tracking estimates showed on Monday.
Almost 3.3bcm is forecast to be discharged from 37 vessels this week, with seven of those to France, although the final destinations and volumes could change, the Kpler data showed.
A worker strike in France over pension reforms obstructed arrivals at the country’s four receiving terminals.
Europe’s LNG supply in March so far has reached more than 6.4bcm, or almost 3.5bcm per week, just 1% higher than the same period in February.
Kpler is forecasting LNG imports this month to be the lowest since last October.
Europe has been relying on LNG to replace as much Russian pipeline supply as possible amid dwindling flows since the country invaded Ukraine last year.
The French strike, compounded by a late winter cold snap, drove European hub prices almost 12% higher on Friday but Asian LNG prices also gained “as Chinese buyers became more active in the spot market”, according to Australia’s ANZ bank.
The benchmark front-month contract at the Dutch TTF hub settled last on Friday at EUR 52.86/MWh (USD 16.40/MMbtu), while its equivalent on the JKM settled at USD 14.15/MMbtu.
However, for the remainder of the year, the price spread between the two regions is very narrow as competitions hastens.
Meanwhile, European LNG storage levels were last seen two percentage points lower week on week at 50% of capacity, Gas Infrastructure Europe data showed.