By CHOU HUI HONG
South Korea, the worlds second- largest buyer of
liquefied natural gas (LNG), boosted imports of the fuel by
19% in October amid increased demand for power generation.
Shipments climbed to 3.19 million metric tons from 2.68
million a year earlier, according to data on the Korea
Customs Services website today. Imports advanced 29%
Domestic sales by state-run Korea Gas Corp., the company that
buys the most LNG globally, were up 18% in October from a
year earlier, according to a regulatory filing on Nov. 12.
Demand from electricity producers rose by 39%, while local
city-gas providers used 1.8% less of the fuel.
South Korea imports most of its LNG under long-term contracts
with suppliers including Qatar, Indonesia, Malaysia and Oman.
It was the largest buyer after Japan in 2012 with purchases
of 36.77 million metric tons, according to the
industry-funded International Group of Liquefied Natural Gas
Importers in Paris.
South Korea paid $2.39 billion for LNG in October, compared
with $1.81 billion in the same month last year, the data
show. The average price rose to $749.97/ton, from $675.62.
Thats equivalent to $14.42/MMBtu, compared with $12.99
the year before, according to Bloomberg calculations
based on the customs data.
The most expensive supply was from Oman, at an average
$16.95/MMBtu for 307,450 tons. Russia delivered three cargoes
at $4.37/MMBtu, the lowest paid in October.
Asian buyers typically import more spot LNG in October and
November to replenish inventories before heating and power
demand peaks during winter in the northern hemisphere.
South Korea purchased six spot shipments in October,
according to the data. Peru, South Americas sole
producer of the fuel, supplied 72,237 tons while Nigeria,
Africas largest natural gas exporter, sent 304,604
tons. A standard LNG tanker can carry about 60,000 tons.
Two of the Nigerian cargoes were delivered by the Seri
Angkasa and LNG Ogun on Oct. 4 and Oct. 15, respectively,
ship transmissions captured by IHS Fairplay on