By Jessica Jaganathan
SINGAPORE, April 29 (Reuters) - Asian spot prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and shipping rates to carry the super-chilled fuel soared to unusual highs this week on the back of strong demand to restock gas inventories in Europe and Asia, industry sources said.
Unipec Singapore sold a liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo for June 3-7 delivery to BP at $8.90 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) on Thursday, data from price agency S&P Global Platts showed.
This is the highest spot price LNG-AS since late January, Reuters data showed.
"Traders are replenishing gas inventory in Europe after it dropped to very low levels during winter, so the restocking is supporting prices in Asia," a Singapore-based LNG trader said, adding that firm demand from China is also supporting.
European gas prices soared earlier this week after an auction for additional transit capacity through Ukraine showed no capacity had been allocated, reducing the possibility of higher deliveries of Russian gas into Europe in May.
The daily charter rate for shipping LNG on a vessel able to carry about 175,000 to 180,000 cubic metres of LNG has risen to up to $70,000 to $80,000 from around $50,000 to $65,000 last week, two shipping sources said.
The spike in shipping rates is not usual for summer, the sources added.
(Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan; Editing by Edmund Blair and Amy Caren Daniel)
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.