Japan, India to Form LNG Buyers’ Group
By Mari Iwata
Japan and India agreed Monday to set up a multilateral group of liquefied natural gas buyers to push for lower prices for the fuel, and they plan to ask other importers to join them.
Asian countries, the biggest buyers of seaborne LNG, sometimes pay five or six times more for the deep-chilled gas than do consumers of piped gas in North America, where prices have plunged due to growing availability on the back of a boom in production of the fuel from shale deposits. In some cases, heavy energy import bills in Asia are being further inflated as a result of weakening currencies.
“LNG prices in Asia are substantially higher than those of other major consuming regions such as Europe and North America,” the two countries said in a joint statement signed by Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Toshimitsu Motegi and India’s Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Veerappa Moily in Tokyo.
“Many contracts include inflexible conditions such as destination clause, which further the market illiquidity in the Asia Pacific region,” the two ministers said.
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