Are Asian LNG Spot Prices Finally Decoupling from Oil?
LNG spot prices in Asia have fallen sharply in the last 6 months as the supply coming on to the market has outstripped demand. With oil prices remaining above $70/b this has opened up a wide gap with oil linked long term contract prices. Are we seeing the beginning of a systematic decoupling of spot and contract prices as happened in Europe in 2009? In Europe this led to contract renegotiations and arbitrations with the result that oil indexed pricing has all but disappeared in the Northwest Europe market. If the decoupling in Asia is for a prolonged period, will the same pattern develop in that region, despite the slow pace of market liberalisation in the key LNG importing countries?