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WGC 2018: LNG prices advance with demand

Momentum in global natural gas trade shows no sign of abating

Stronger-than-expected demand for liquefied natural gas in 2017 helped trading break growth records for a third consecutive year, with prices also increasing for the first time in two years.

Global LNG trade in 2017 reached 293.1 million tonnes - an increase of 12% (35.2 mt) from 2016, according to the 2018 World LNG Report, launched at the World Gas Conference in Washington on Wednesday

Written by Italian grid operator Snam SpA, the International Gas Union trade lobby and The Boston Consulting Group, the report noted that the Asia-Pacific region continued to be a core driver in global demand, with China alone adding 12.7 mt of imports in 2017 - the largest ever annual growth by a single country.

David Carroll, President of the IGU, said at WGC 2018: "This year's report is a testament to the importance of LNG as a core element in meeting the world's energy needs, with international trade continuing to boom from both a supply and a demand perspective. We remain bullish and continue our strong support of LNG as a core driver of a sustainable future."

Its preliminary data suggests that in 2017, global gas consumption experienced its strongest growth in over a decade at 3.7% year-on-year - more than double the average growth rate of the previous five years.

The report noted a trend toward global price convergence continuing in European and Asian spot prices.

"Global gas prices have been converging continuously since 2005, indicating further globalisation of the gas markets", it reads.

However, it also said that to continue this growth trajectory, industry and policymakers must cooperate on ensuring the competitiveness, availability and sustainability of gas, and to focus on the special role that gas can play in cities.

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