In natural gas markets, winter is coming



30 October 2018

Abnormal winters tend to have lasting impacts on gas market behaviour (Photograph: Shutterstock)

Natural gas importers across the globe are looking at the next few months with similar anticipation as fans of the next season of Game of Thrones. In both cases, winter is coming. 

The prospects of a natural gas glut, which was commonly heard within the energy industry not that long ago, has vanished following last winter’s tight market, and is being replaced by concerns over security of supply.

One of the most striking signs of this concern has been the race to fill storages in recent month. Underground gas storage is one of the most efficient tools to mitigate seasonal demand fluctuations, and it was widely used last winter to compensate for the impacts of late cold spells on both sides of the Atlantic. As a result, storage inventories fell to a four-year low level in the United States by the end of last winter and reached record lows in Europe.

This situation prompted strong injections to replenish underground storages, and contributed to sustained levels of imports in Europe and high prices throughout this summer. Still, despite these efforts, inventory levels as of the end of September were slightly lower than last year’s levels in Europe, and almost 20% lower in the United States.

Enter the dragon

But there is more to this story. Just like last season’s cliffhanger, winter is also bringing along new major player in the natural gas game. China, for one, which experienced an unprecedented 14.5% growth of its natural gas consumption in 2017, supported by continuous economic growth and by a strong government push towards a cleaner energy mix. The high level of air pollution in urban areas triggered strong policy measures to “win the battle for blue skies.” This included massive conversion from coal-to-gas for small industrial and residential boilers. The resulting gas demand surge could not be met by higher domestic production or import capacity, or even short-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports. As a result, China experienced supply shortfalls over the winter.

There were multiple lessons from this episode. Beyond the immediate emergency measures to handle the shortfall, they triggered a wide range of investment decisions and policy measures since the beginning of this year to reinforce the country’s security of supply – further development and diversification of the gas supply portfolio, new investment in storage, pipeline and regasification capacity, as well as new policy guidelines and targets for natural gas development.

At the same time, China’s natural gas demand keeps growing. During the first half of 2018, China’s gas consumption increased by 17% year-on-year, while LNG imports, a growing source of supply for the country, grew by 45% year-on-year for the January to September period. Domestic production and import infrastructure development have also grown but they still struggle to keep pace, and some local stakeholders brace themselves for the eventuality of a second tight winter.

The strong increase in China’s LNG spot procurement in 2018 contributed to higher market prices in Asia, which stood at above $10/MMBtu throughout the summer, a level that was reached last year only during the coldest winter months. Asian high prices, combined with strong storage injection activity, also contributed to a continuous rise in European gas prices since the beginning of summer.

Across the narrow sea

Another point of recent concern is the availability of LNG tankers. Once seen as a purely logistical aspect in supply contracts, LNG vessels have become a central component of the emerging short-term LNG trade. Ship availability was not a concern less than two years ago, when the spot chartering price was around $30,000 per day and shipyards were struggling to find new orders to maintain activity. But this has changed today, with prices rising steadily over the past months and reaching $140,000 a day (as of October 23) and with the risk of more tension when temperatures drop.

This is almost as high as the all-time record ($150,000) experienced during the winter following the Fukushima nuclear incident of March 2011, when Japan had to procure LNG to compensate for its offline nuclear power generation capacity.

	Asia-Pacific basin	Atlantic basin
09/01/2010	45000	
12/01/2010	45000	
13/01/2010	45000	
14/01/2010	45000	
15/01/2010	45000	
16/01/2010	45000	
19/01/2010	45000	
20/01/2010	45000	
21/01/2010	42500	
22/01/2010	40000	
23/01/2010	40000	
26/01/2010	40000	
27/01/2010	38000	
28/01/2010	39000	
29/01/2010	38000	
30/01/2010	38000	
02/02/2010	38000	
03/02/2010	38000	
04/02/2010	38000	
05/02/2010	35000	
06/02/2010	35000	
09/02/2010	35000	
10/02/2010	35000	
11/02/2010	35000	
12/02/2010	35000	
13/02/2010	35000	
18/02/2010	35000	
19/02/2010	35000	
20/02/2010	35000	
23/02/2010	34000	
24/02/2010	34000	
25/02/2010	34000	
26/02/2010	35000	
27/02/2010	35000	
02/03/2010	35000	
03/03/2010	35000	
04/03/2010	35000	
05/03/2010	35000	
06/03/2010	35000	
09/03/2010	35000	
10/03/2010	35000	
11/03/2010	35000	
12/03/2010	35000	
13/03/2010	35000	
16/03/2010	35000	
17/03/2010	35000	
18/03/2010	35000	
19/03/2010	35000	
20/03/2010	35000	
23/03/2010	34000	
24/03/2010	34000	
25/03/2010	34000	
26/03/2010	34000	
27/03/2010	34000	
30/03/2010	34000	
31/03/2010	34000	
01/04/2010	33000	
02/04/2010	33000	
06/04/2010	33000	
07/04/2010	29000	
08/04/2010	30000	
09/04/2010	30000	
10/04/2010	30000	
13/04/2010	30000	
14/04/2010	30000	
15/04/2010	30000	
16/04/2010	30000	
17/04/2010	30000	
20/04/2010	30000	
21/04/2010	30000	
22/04/2010	30000	
23/04/2010	30000	
24/04/2010	30000	
27/04/2010	30000	
28/04/2010	30000	
29/04/2010	28000	
30/04/2010	30000	
01/05/2010	30000	
04/05/2010	30000	
05/05/2010	30000	
06/05/2010	30000	
07/05/2010	30000	
08/05/2010	29000	
11/05/2010	29000	
12/05/2010	29000	
13/05/2010	29000	
14/05/2010	29000	
15/05/2010	29000	
18/05/2010	29000	
19/05/2010	29000	
20/05/2010	29000	
21/05/2010	29000	
22/05/2010	29000	
25/05/2010	27000	
26/05/2010	27000	
27/05/2010	29000	
28/05/2010	29000	
01/06/2010	30000	
02/06/2010	30000	
03/06/2010	30000	
04/06/2010	30000	
05/06/2010	30000	
08/06/2010	28000	
09/06/2010	28000	
10/06/2010	28000	
11/06/2010	28000	
12/06/2010	28000	
15/06/2010	28000	
16/06/2010	28000	
17/06/2010	28000	
18/06/2010	28000	
19/06/2010	28000	
22/06/2010	25000	
23/06/2010	25000	
24/06/2010	25000	
25/06/2010	30000	
26/06/2010	30000	
29/06/2010	32000	33000
30/06/2010	32000	33000
01/07/2010	32000	33000
02/07/2010	32000	33000
03/07/2010	32000	33000
06/07/2010	32000	33000
07/07/2010	32000	33000
08/07/2010	32000	33000
09/07/2010	32000	33000
10/07/2010	31000	33000
13/07/2010	30000	33000
14/07/2010	30000	33000
15/07/2010	28000	31000
16/07/2010	28000	31000
17/07/2010	28000	31000
20/07/2010	28000	31000
21/07/2010	28000	31000
22/07/2010	30000	33000
23/07/2010	30000	33000
24/07/2010	30000	33000
27/07/2010	30000	33000
28/07/2010	30000	33000
29/07/2010	31000	33000
30/07/2010	31000	33000
31/07/2010	31000	33000
03/08/2010	31000	33000
04/08/2010	31000	33000
05/08/2010	32000	33000
06/08/2010	33000	33000
07/08/2010	33000	35000
10/08/2010	33000	35000
11/08/2010	33000	35000
12/08/2010	33000	35000
13/08/2010	35000	40000
14/08/2010	35000	40000
17/08/2010	40000	45000
18/08/2010	40000	42000
19/08/2010	40000	42000
20/08/2010	40000	42000
21/08/2010	40000	42000
24/08/2010	40000	42000
25/08/2010	40000	42000
26/08/2010	40000	42000
27/08/2010	40000	42000
28/08/2010	42000	44000
31/08/2010	42000	44000
01/09/2010	42000	44000
02/09/2010	42000	44000
03/09/2010	42000	44000
04/09/2010	42000	44000
07/09/2010	42000	44000
08/09/2010	42000	44000
09/09/2010	40000	44000
10/09/2010	40000	44000
11/09/2010	40000	44000
14/09/2010	42000	44000
15/09/2010	42000	44000
16/09/2010	45000	44000
17/09/2010	45000	44000
18/09/2010	45000	44000
21/09/2010	45000	44000
22/09/2010	45000	44000
23/09/2010	45000	44000
24/09/2010	45000	44000
25/09/2010	45000	44000
28/09/2010	45000	44000
29/09/2010	45000	44000
30/09/2010	45000	45000
01/10/2010	45000	45000
02/10/2010	45000	45000
05/10/2010	45000	45000
06/10/2010	45000	45000
07/10/2010	45000	45000
08/10/2010	45000	45000
09/10/2010	45000	45000
12/10/2010	45000	50000
13/10/2010	50000	50000
14/10/2010	50000	50000
15/10/2010	48000	50000
16/10/2010	48000	50000
19/10/2010	48000	50000
20/10/2010	48000	50000
21/10/2010	48000	50000
22/10/2010	48000	50000
23/10/2010	48000	50000
26/10/2010	48000	50000
27/10/2010	48000	50000
28/10/2010	48000	50000
29/10/2010	48000	50000
30/10/2010	48000	50000
02/11/2010	48000	50000
03/11/2010	48000	50000
04/11/2010	48000	50000
05/11/2010	48000	50000
06/11/2010	48000	50000
09/11/2010	48000	50000
10/11/2010	48000	50000
11/11/2010	48000	50000
12/11/2010	48000	50000
13/11/2010	48000	56500
16/11/2010	48000	56500
17/11/2010	50000	56500
18/11/2010	50000	56500
19/11/2010	50000	56500
20/11/2010	50000	56500
23/11/2010	50000	56500
24/11/2010	55000	56500
25/11/2010	55000	56500
26/11/2010	55000	56500
27/11/2010	55000	56500
30/11/2010	55000	56500
01/12/2010	55000	56500
02/12/2010	55000	56500
03/12/2010	55000	56500
04/12/2010	55000	56500
07/12/2010	55000	56500
08/12/2010	55000	56500
09/12/2010	55000	56500
10/12/2010	55000	62500
11/12/2010	55000	62500
14/12/2010	55000	62500
15/12/2010	55000	62500
16/12/2010	55000	62500
17/12/2010	55000	62500
18/12/2010	55000	60000
21/12/2010	55000	60000
22/12/2010	55000	60000
23/12/2010	55000	65000
24/12/2010	60000	65000
25/12/2010	60000	65000
29/12/2010	60000	65000
30/12/2010	60000	65000
31/12/2010	60000	65000
01/01/2011	60000	65000
05/01/2011	60000	65000
06/01/2011	60000	65000
07/01/2011	60000	65000
08/01/2011	60000	65000
11/01/2011	60000	65000
12/01/2011	60000	65000
13/01/2011	60000	65000
14/01/2011	60000	65000
15/01/2011	60000	65000
18/01/2011	62500	65000
19/01/2011	62500	65000
20/01/2011	62500	65000
21/01/2011	65000	65000
22/01/2011	65000	65000
25/01/2011	65000	65000
26/01/2011	65000	65000
27/01/2011	65000	65000
28/01/2011	65000	65000
29/01/2011	65000	65000
01/02/2011	65000	65000
02/02/2011	65000	65000
03/02/2011	65000	65000
04/02/2011	65000	65000
05/02/2011	65000	65000
08/02/2011	65000	65000
09/02/2011	65000	65000
10/02/2011	65000	65000
11/02/2011	65000	65000
12/02/2011	65000	65000
15/02/2011	65000	65000
16/02/2011	65000	65000
17/02/2011	65000	65000
18/02/2011	65000	65000
19/02/2011	65000	65000
22/02/2011	65000	65000
23/02/2011	65000	65000
24/02/2011	65000	65000
25/02/2011	65000	65000
26/02/2011	65000	65000
01/03/2011	65000	65000
02/03/2011	65000	65000
03/03/2011	65000	65000
04/03/2011	65000	65000
05/03/2011	65000	65000
08/03/2011	65000	65000
09/03/2011	65000	65000
10/03/2011	65000	65000
11/03/2011	65000	65000
12/03/2011	65000	65000
15/03/2011	65000	65000
16/03/2011	65000	65000
17/03/2011	65000	65000
18/03/2011	85000	85000
19/03/2011	85000	85000
22/03/2011	85000	85000
23/03/2011	85000	85000
24/03/2011	85000	85000
25/03/2011	85000	85000
26/03/2011	85000	85000
29/03/2011	85000	85000
30/03/2011	85000	85000
31/03/2011	85000	85000
01/04/2011	80000	85000
02/04/2011	80000	85000
05/04/2011	80000	85000
06/04/2011	80000	85000
07/04/2011	85000	85000
08/04/2011	85000	85000
09/04/2011	85000	85000
12/04/2011	85000	85000
13/04/2011	85000	85000
14/04/2011	90000	85000
15/04/2011	85000	85000
16/04/2011	85000	85000
19/04/2011	85000	85000
20/04/2011	85000	85000
21/04/2011	85000	85000
22/04/2011	85000	85000
26/04/2011	85000	85000
27/04/2011	85000	85000
28/04/2011	85000	85000
29/04/2011	85000	85000
30/04/2011	85000	85000
04/05/2011	85000	85000
05/05/2011	85000	85000
06/05/2011	85000	85000
07/05/2011	85000	85000
10/05/2011	85000	85000
11/05/2011	85000	85000
12/05/2011	85000	85000
13/05/2011	85000	85000
14/05/2011	85000	85000
17/05/2011	85000	85000
18/05/2011	85000	85000
19/05/2011	85000	85000
20/05/2011	85000	85000
21/05/2011	85000	85000
24/05/2011	83000	85000
25/05/2011	83000	90000
26/05/2011	83000	95000
27/05/2011	83000	95000
28/05/2011	83000	95000
31/05/2011	83000	95000
01/06/2011	83000	95000
02/06/2011	83000	95000
03/06/2011	83000	95000
04/06/2011	85000	95000
07/06/2011	85000	95000
08/06/2011	85000	95000
09/06/2011	87000	95000
10/06/2011	87000	95000
11/06/2011	87000	95000
14/06/2011	87000	95000
15/06/2011	87000	95000
16/06/2011	87000	95000
17/06/2011	87000	95000
18/06/2011	87000	95000
21/06/2011	87000	95000
22/06/2011	87000	95000
23/06/2011	87000	95000
24/06/2011	87000	95000
25/06/2011	87000	95000
28/06/2011	87000	95000
29/06/2011	87000	95000
30/06/2011	87000	95000
01/07/2011	87000	95000
02/07/2011	87000	95000
05/07/2011	87000	95000
06/07/2011	87000	95000
07/07/2011	87000	95000
08/07/2011	90000	95000
09/07/2011	90000	95000
12/07/2011	90000	95000
13/07/2011	90000	95000
14/07/2011	90000	95000
15/07/2011	90000	95000
16/07/2011	90000	95000
19/07/2011	90000	95000
20/07/2011	90000	95000
21/07/2011	90000	95000
22/07/2011	90000	90000
23/07/2011	90000	90000
26/07/2011	90000	90000
27/07/2011	90000	90000
28/07/2011	90000	90000
29/07/2011	90000	90000
30/07/2011	90000	90000
02/08/2011	90000	90000
03/08/2011	90000	90000
04/08/2011	92000	90000
05/08/2011	92000	90000
06/08/2011	92000	95000
09/08/2011	92000	95000
10/08/2011	92000	95000
11/08/2011	92000	95000
12/08/2011	92000	95000
13/08/2011	92000	95000
16/08/2011	92000	95000
17/08/2011	92000	95000
18/08/2011	92000	95000
19/08/2011	92000	95000
20/08/2011	92000	95000
23/08/2011	92000	95000
24/08/2011	92000	95000
25/08/2011	92000	95000
26/08/2011	92000	95000
27/08/2011	92000	95000
30/08/2011	92000	95000
31/08/2011	92000	95000
01/09/2011	93000	95000
02/09/2011	93000	95000
03/09/2011	93000	95000
06/09/2011	94000	95000
07/09/2011	94000	100000
08/09/2011	94000	105000
09/09/2011	94000	105000
10/09/2011	94000	105000
13/09/2011	94000	105000
14/09/2011	94000	105000
15/09/2011	100000	105000
16/09/2011	100000	105000
17/09/2011	100000	105000
20/09/2011	100000	105000
21/09/2011	100000	105000
22/09/2011	100000	105000
23/09/2011	100000	105000
24/09/2011	100000	105000
27/09/2011	100000	105000
28/09/2011	100000	105000
29/09/2011	100000	105000
30/09/2011	100000	105000
01/10/2011	100000	105000
04/10/2011	100000	105000
05/10/2011	100000	105000
06/10/2011	100000	105000
07/10/2011	100000	105000
08/10/2011	100000	105000
11/10/2011	100000	105000
12/10/2011	100000	105000
13/10/2011	100000	105000
14/10/2011	100000	105000
15/10/2011	100000	105000
18/10/2011	100000	105000
19/10/2011	100000	105000
20/10/2011	100000	105000
21/10/2011	100000	105000
22/10/2011	105000	105000
25/10/2011	105000	105000
26/10/2011	105000	105000
27/10/2011	105000	105000
28/10/2011	105000	105000
29/10/2011	108000	110000
01/11/2011	108000	110000
02/11/2011	108000	110000
03/11/2011	108000	110000
04/11/2011	108000	110000
05/11/2011	108000	110000
08/11/2011	108000	110000
09/11/2011	108000	110000
10/11/2011	108000	110000
11/11/2011	108000	110000
12/11/2011	108000	110000
15/11/2011	108000	110000
16/11/2011	108000	110000
17/11/2011	108000	110000
18/11/2011	108000	110000
19/11/2011	108000	110000
22/11/2011	108000	110000
23/11/2011	108000	110000
24/11/2011	110000	110000
25/11/2011	112000	115000
26/11/2011	112000	115000
29/11/2011	115000	115000
30/11/2011	115000	115000
01/12/2011	115000	115000
02/12/2011	115000	115000
03/12/2011	130000	125000
06/12/2011	130000	130000
07/12/2011	130000	130000
08/12/2011	130000	130000
09/12/2011	130000	130000
10/12/2011	130000	130000
13/12/2011	135000	130000
14/12/2011	135000	130000
15/12/2011	135000	135000
16/12/2011	135000	135000
17/12/2011	140000	135000
20/12/2011	140000	135000
21/12/2011	140000	135000
22/12/2011	142500	135000
23/12/2011	142500	135000
24/12/2011	142500	135000
28/12/2011	142500	135000
29/12/2011	150000	145000
30/12/2011	150000	145000
31/12/2011	150000	145000
04/01/2012	150000	145000
05/01/2012	150000	145000
06/01/2012	150000	145000
07/01/2012	147000	145000
10/01/2012	147000	145000
11/01/2012	147000	145000
12/01/2012	147000	145000
13/01/2012	147000	145000
14/01/2012	147000	145000
17/01/2012	147000	145000
18/01/2012	147000	145000
19/01/2012	147000	145000
20/01/2012	147000	145000
21/01/2012	145000	145000
24/01/2012	145000	145000
25/01/2012	145000	145000
26/01/2012	145000	145000
27/01/2012	140000	140000
28/01/2012	140000	140000
31/01/2012	135000	140000
01/02/2012	135000	140000
02/02/2012	135000	140000
03/02/2012	135000	140000
04/02/2012	135000	140000
07/02/2012	135000	140000
08/02/2012	135000	135000
09/02/2012	135000	135000
10/02/2012	135000	135000
11/02/2012	135000	135000
14/02/2012	135000	135000
15/02/2012	135000	135000
16/02/2012	135000	135000
17/02/2012	135000	135000
18/02/2012	135000	135000
21/02/2012	135000	135000
22/02/2012	135000	135000
23/02/2012	130000	130000
24/02/2012	130000	130000
25/02/2012	130000	130000
28/02/2012	127000	130000
29/02/2012	127000	125000
01/03/2012	127000	125000
02/03/2012	125000	125000
03/03/2012	125000	125000
06/03/2012	125000	125000
07/03/2012	125000	125000
08/03/2012	125000	125000
09/03/2012	125000	125000
10/03/2012	125000	125000
13/03/2012	125000	125000
14/03/2012	125000	125000
15/03/2012	125000	125000
16/03/2012	125000	125000
17/03/2012	125000	125000
20/03/2012	125000	125000
21/03/2012	125000	125000
22/03/2012	125000	125000
23/03/2012	125000	125000
24/03/2012	125000	125000
27/03/2012	125000	125000
28/03/2012	125000	125000
29/03/2012	125000	125000
30/03/2012	125000	125000
31/03/2012	125000	125000
03/04/2012	125000	125000
04/04/2012	125000	125000
05/04/2012	120000	125000
06/04/2012	120000	120000
10/04/2012	120000	120000
11/04/2012	120000	120000
12/04/2012	120000	120000
13/04/2012	120000	120000
14/04/2012	120000	120000
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20/04/2012	120000	120000
21/04/2012	120000	120000
24/04/2012	118000	120000
25/04/2012	118000	120000
26/04/2012	118000	120000
27/04/2012	118000	120000
28/04/2012	118000	120000
01/05/2012	118000	120000
02/05/2012	118000	120000
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05/05/2012	110000	115000
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10/05/2012	110000	115000
11/05/2012	110000	115000
12/05/2012	110000	115000
15/05/2012	110000	115000
16/05/2012	110000	115000
17/05/2012	110000	115000
18/05/2012	110000	115000
19/05/2012	110000	115000
22/05/2012	110000	115000
23/05/2012	110000	115000
24/05/2012	110000	120000
25/05/2012	115000	125000
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29/05/2012	115000	125000
30/05/2012	115000	125000
31/05/2012	115000	125000
01/06/2012	115000	130000
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05/06/2012	115000	130000
06/06/2012	115000	130000
07/06/2012	115000	130000
08/06/2012	115000	130000
09/06/2012	115000	130000
12/06/2012	115000	130000
13/06/2012	115000	130000
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20/06/2012	135000	140000
21/06/2012	135000	140000
22/06/2012	135000	140000
23/06/2012	135000	140000
26/06/2012	135000	140000
27/06/2012	135000	145000
28/06/2012	140000	145000
29/06/2012	145000	145000
30/06/2012	145000	145000
03/07/2012	150000	145000
04/07/2012	150000	145000
05/07/2012	150000	145000
06/07/2012	150000	145000
07/07/2012	150000	145000
10/07/2012	150000	145000
11/07/2012	150000	145000
12/07/2012	150000	145000
13/07/2012	150000	145000
14/07/2012	150000	145000
17/07/2012	150000	145000
18/07/2012	150000	145000
19/07/2012	150000	145000
20/07/2012	145000	145000
21/07/2012	145000	145000
24/07/2012	145000	145000
25/07/2012	145000	145000
26/07/2012	145000	145000
27/07/2012	145000	145000
28/07/2012	145000	145000
31/07/2012	145000	145000
01/08/2012	145000	145000
02/08/2012	143000	145000
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04/08/2012	143000	145000
07/08/2012	143000	145000
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09/08/2012	140000	145000
10/08/2012	140000	145000
11/08/2012	140000	145000
14/08/2012	140000	140000
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18/08/2012	140000	140000
21/08/2012	140000	140000
22/08/2012	140000	140000
23/08/2012	140000	140000
24/08/2012	140000	140000
25/08/2012	140000	140000
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13/09/2012	134000	135000
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19/09/2012	134000	135000
20/09/2012	134000	135000
21/09/2012	134000	135000
22/09/2012	134000	135000
25/09/2012	134000	135000
26/09/2012	134000	135000
27/09/2012	134000	135000
28/09/2012	130000	135000
29/09/2012	130000	120000
02/10/2012	130000	120000
03/10/2012	130000	120000
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05/10/2012	120000	120000
06/10/2012	118000	120000
09/10/2012	118000	120000
10/10/2012	118000	120000
11/10/2012	118000	120000
12/10/2012	118000	120000
13/10/2012	118000	120000
16/10/2012	118000	120000
17/10/2012	118000	120000
18/10/2012	118000	120000
19/10/2012	118000	120000
20/10/2012	118000	115000
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24/10/2012	118000	115000
25/10/2012	118000	115000
26/10/2012	118000	115000
27/10/2012	118000	115000
30/10/2012	115000	115000
31/10/2012	115000	115000
01/11/2012	115000	115000
02/11/2012	110000	115000
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06/11/2012	110000	110000
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08/11/2012	110000	110000
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10/11/2012	110000	110000
13/11/2012	110000	110000
14/11/2012	110000	110000
15/11/2012	105000	110000
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24/11/2012	105000	100000
27/11/2012	105000	100000
28/11/2012	105000	100000
29/11/2012	105000	100000
30/11/2012	105000	100000
01/12/2012	105000	100000
04/12/2012	105000	100000
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11/12/2012	105000	100000
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13/12/2012	105000	100000
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15/12/2012	105000	110000
18/12/2012	105000	110000
19/12/2012	110000	110000
20/12/2012	110000	110000
21/12/2012	110000	110000
22/12/2012	110000	110000
25/12/2012	110000	110000
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28/12/2012	110000	110000
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10/01/2013	120000	120000
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16/01/2013	120000	120000
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18/01/2013	120000	120000
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22/01/2013	120000	120000
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24/01/2013	120000	120000
25/01/2013	120000	120000
26/01/2013	120000	120000
29/01/2013	120000	120000
30/01/2013	120000	115000
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12/02/2013	120000	120000
13/02/2013	120000	120000
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16/02/2013	120000	120000
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22/02/2013	120000	120000
23/02/2013	120000	120000
26/02/2013	120000	120000
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28/02/2013	120000	115000
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08/03/2013	113000	115000
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12/03/2013	113000	115000
13/03/2013	113000	112000
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22/03/2013	110000	105000
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26/03/2013	110000	105000
27/03/2013	105000	105000
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02/04/2013	105000	105000
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16/04/2013	105000	100000
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14/05/2013	95000	95000
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21/05/2013	95000	90000
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11/06/2013	95000	95000
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20/07/2013	100000	105000
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08/08/2013	98000	105000
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10/08/2013	98000	105000
13/08/2013	98000	105000
14/08/2013	98000	105000
15/08/2013	98000	105000
16/08/2013	98000	105000
17/08/2013	98000	105000
20/08/2013	98000	105000
21/08/2013	98000	105000
22/08/2013	98000	105000
23/08/2013	98000	105000
24/08/2013	95000	105000
27/08/2013	95000	105000
28/08/2013	95000	105000
29/08/2013	95000	105000
30/08/2013	95000	105000
31/08/2013	95000	105000
03/09/2013	95000	105000
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05/09/2013	95000	105000
06/09/2013	95000	110000
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10/09/2013	95000	110000
11/09/2013	95000	110000
12/09/2013	95000	110000
13/09/2013	95000	110000
14/09/2013	95000	110000
17/09/2013	95000	110000
18/09/2013	95000	110000
19/09/2013	95000	105000
20/09/2013	95000	105000
21/09/2013	95000	105000
24/09/2013	95000	105000
25/09/2013	95000	105000
26/09/2013	95000	105000
27/09/2013	95000	105000
28/09/2013	95000	100000
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05/10/2013	95000	95000
08/10/2013	95000	95000
09/10/2013	95000	95000
10/10/2013	95000	95000
11/10/2013	95000	95000
12/10/2013	95000	93000
15/10/2013	95000	93000
16/10/2013	95000	93000
17/10/2013	95000	93000
18/10/2013	95000	93000
19/10/2013	95000	92000
22/10/2013	95000	92000
23/10/2013	91000	92000
24/10/2013	91000	92000
25/10/2013	90000	92000
26/10/2013	90000	92000
29/10/2013	90000	92000
30/10/2013	90000	92000
31/10/2013	90000	92000
01/11/2013	90000	92000
02/11/2013	90000	92000
05/11/2013	90000	92000
06/11/2013	90000	90000
07/11/2013	90000	90000
08/11/2013	90000	90000
09/11/2013	90000	90000
12/11/2013	90000	91000
13/11/2013	90000	91000
14/11/2013	90000	92000
15/11/2013	90000	92000
16/11/2013	90000	92000
19/11/2013	91000	92000
20/11/2013	91000	95000
21/11/2013	91000	95000
22/11/2013	94000	95000
23/11/2013	94000	95000
26/11/2013	94000	95000
27/11/2013	94000	95000
28/11/2013	94000	95000
29/11/2013	94000	95000
30/11/2013	94000	95000
03/12/2013	94000	95000
04/12/2013	94000	95000
05/12/2013	94000	95000
06/12/2013	94000	95000
07/12/2013	94000	95000
10/12/2013	94000	95000
11/12/2013	94000	95000
12/12/2013	94000	95000
13/12/2013	94000	95000
14/12/2013	94000	95000
17/12/2013	94000	95000
18/12/2013	92000	95000
19/12/2013	92000	95000
20/12/2013	92000	92000
21/12/2013	92000	92000
24/12/2013	92000	92000
25/12/2013	92000	91000
27/12/2013	92000	91000
28/12/2013	92000	91000
31/12/2013	92000	91000
01/01/2014	92000	91000
03/01/2014	92000	91000
04/01/2014	92000	91000
07/01/2014	92000	90000
08/01/2014	92000	90000
09/01/2014	92000	90000
10/01/2014	92000	90000
11/01/2014	89000	90000
14/01/2014	89000	90000
15/01/2014	87000	90000
16/01/2014	87000	90000
17/01/2014	87000	90000
18/01/2014	87000	90000
21/01/2014	87000	90000
22/01/2014	87000	90000
23/01/2014	87000	90000
24/01/2014	87000	90000
25/01/2014	87000	90000
28/01/2014	87000	90000
29/01/2014	87000	90000
30/01/2014	85000	90000
31/01/2014	85000	90000
01/02/2014	85000	85000
04/02/2014	85000	80000
05/02/2014	85000	80000
06/02/2014	85000	80000
07/02/2014	82000	75000
08/02/2014	80000	70000
11/02/2014	80000	70000
12/02/2014	80000	65000
13/02/2014	80000	65000
14/02/2014	75000	70000
15/02/2014	75000	70000
18/02/2014	75000	70000
19/02/2014	75000	70000
20/02/2014	75000	70000
21/02/2014	75000	70000
22/02/2014	75000	70000
25/02/2014	75000	70000
26/02/2014	75000	70000
27/02/2014	75000	70000
28/02/2014	75000	70000
01/03/2014	75000	70000
04/03/2014	72000	70000
05/03/2014	72000	70000
06/03/2014	72000	70000
07/03/2014	70000	68000
08/03/2014	70000	68000
11/03/2014	70000	68000
12/03/2014	70000	68000
13/03/2014	70000	68000
14/03/2014	67000	68000
15/03/2014	67000	68000
18/03/2014	67000	68000
19/03/2014	67000	65000
20/03/2014	67000	65000
21/03/2014	67000	65000
22/03/2014	67000	65000
25/03/2014	67000	65000
26/03/2014	67000	66000
27/03/2014	67000	66000
28/03/2014	67000	66000
29/03/2014	67000	66000
01/04/2014	65000	66000
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11/07/2014	65000	60000
12/07/2014	62000	60000
15/07/2014	60000	60000
16/07/2014	60000	60000
17/07/2014	60000	60000
18/07/2014	60000	60000
19/07/2014	60000	60000
22/07/2014	60000	60000
23/07/2014	60000	60000
24/07/2014	60000	60000
25/07/2014	60000	60000
26/07/2014	60000	60000
29/07/2014	60000	60000
30/07/2014	60000	60000
31/07/2014	60000	60000
01/08/2014	60000	60000
02/08/2014	60000	60000
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06/08/2014	60000	60000
07/08/2014	60000	65000
08/08/2014	60000	65000
09/08/2014	60000	65000
12/08/2014	60000	65000
13/08/2014	60000	65000
14/08/2014	60000	65000
15/08/2014	60000	65000
16/08/2014	60000	65000
19/08/2014	60000	65000
20/08/2014	60000	65000
21/08/2014	60000	65000
22/08/2014	60000	65000
23/08/2014	60000	65000
26/08/2014	60000	65000
27/08/2014	60000	65000
28/08/2014	60000	65000
29/08/2014	62000	65000
30/08/2014	62000	65000
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18/09/2014	62000	65000
19/09/2014	62000	65000
20/09/2014	62000	65000
23/09/2014	62000	65000
24/09/2014	62000	65000
25/09/2014	62000	65000
26/09/2014	62000	65000
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04/10/2014	62000	65000
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10/03/2017	30000	39000
11/03/2017	30000	39000
14/03/2017	30000	39000
15/03/2017	30000	35000
16/03/2017	30000	35000
17/03/2017	30000	35000
18/03/2017	30000	35000
21/03/2017	30000	35000
22/03/2017	30000	32000
23/03/2017	30000	32000
24/03/2017	28000	32000
25/03/2017	28000	32000
28/03/2017	28000	32000
29/03/2017	28000	32000
30/03/2017	28000	32000
31/03/2017	28000	32000
01/04/2017	25000	32000
04/04/2017	25000	32000
05/04/2017	25000	32000
06/04/2017	25000	32000
07/04/2017	25000	32000
08/04/2017	25000	32000
11/04/2017	25000	32000
12/04/2017	25000	32000
13/04/2017	25000	30000
14/04/2017	25000	30000
18/04/2017	25000	30000
19/04/2017	25000	30000
20/04/2017	25000	30000
21/04/2017	25000	30000
22/04/2017	25000	30000
25/04/2017	25000	30000
26/04/2017	25000	30000
27/04/2017	25000	30000
28/04/2017	25000	30000
29/04/2017	25000	35000
03/05/2017	25000	35000
04/05/2017	25000	35000
05/05/2017	25000	35000
06/05/2017	25000	35000
09/05/2017	25000	35000
10/05/2017	25000	35000
11/05/2017	25000	35000
12/05/2017	25000	35000
13/05/2017	25000	35000
16/05/2017	25000	37000
17/05/2017	25000	37000
18/05/2017	25000	37000
19/05/2017	25000	37000
20/05/2017	25000	37000
23/05/2017	25000	37000
24/05/2017	25000	37000
25/05/2017	27000	37000
26/05/2017	27000	37000
27/05/2017	27000	37000
30/05/2017	27000	37000
31/05/2017	27000	37000
01/06/2017	27000	37000
02/06/2017	27000	37000
03/06/2017	27000	37000
06/06/2017	27000	37000
07/06/2017	27000	37000
08/06/2017	27000	37000
09/06/2017	27000	37000
10/06/2017	31000	37000
13/06/2017	31000	37000
14/06/2017	31000	37000
15/06/2017	31000	37000
16/06/2017	31000	37000
17/06/2017	35000	37000
20/06/2017	35000	37000
21/06/2017	35000	37000
22/06/2017	35000	37000
23/06/2017	35000	37000
24/06/2017	35000	37000
27/06/2017	35000	37000
28/06/2017	35000	37000
29/06/2017	35000	37000
30/06/2017	35000	37000
01/07/2017	35000	37000
04/07/2017	35000	37000
05/07/2017	35000	37000
06/07/2017	35000	37000
07/07/2017	35000	37000
08/07/2017	35000	37000
11/07/2017	35000	37000
12/07/2017	35000	37000
13/07/2017	35000	37000
14/07/2017	35000	37000
15/07/2017	35000	37000
18/07/2017	35000	37000
19/07/2017	37000	37000
20/07/2017	37000	37000
21/07/2017	37000	37000
22/07/2017	37000	37000
25/07/2017	37000	37000
26/07/2017	37000	37000
27/07/2017	37000	37000
28/07/2017	37000	37000
29/07/2017	39000	37000
01/08/2017	39000	39000
02/08/2017	39000	39000
03/08/2017	39000	39000
04/08/2017	39000	39000
05/08/2017	39000	39000
08/08/2017	39000	39000
09/08/2017	39000	39000
10/08/2017	39000	41000
11/08/2017	39000	41000
12/08/2017	39000	41000
15/08/2017	39000	41000
16/08/2017	39000	41000
17/08/2017	39000	41000
18/08/2017	39000	41000
19/08/2017	39000	41000
22/08/2017	39000	41000
23/08/2017	39000	41000
24/08/2017	39000	41000
25/08/2017	39000	41000
26/08/2017	39000	41000
29/08/2017	39000	41000
30/08/2017	39000	41000
31/08/2017	39000	41000
01/09/2017	39000	39000
02/09/2017	39000	39000
05/09/2017	39000	39000
06/09/2017	39000	39000
07/09/2017	39000	39000
08/09/2017	39000	39000
09/09/2017	39000	39000
12/09/2017	39000	39000
13/09/2017	39000	39000
14/09/2017	39000	39000
15/09/2017	39000	39000
16/09/2017	39000	39000
19/09/2017	39000	39000
20/09/2017	39000	39000
21/09/2017	39000	39000
22/09/2017	39000	39000
23/09/2017	39000	39000
26/09/2017	39000	42000
27/09/2017	40000	42000
28/09/2017	40000	42000
29/09/2017	40000	42000
30/09/2017	40000	42000
03/10/2017	40000	42000
04/10/2017	40000	44000
05/10/2017	40000	44000
06/10/2017	40000	44000
07/10/2017	40000	44000
10/10/2017	40000	44000
11/10/2017	40000	44000
12/10/2017	40000	44000
13/10/2017	40000	44000
14/10/2017	40000	44000
17/10/2017	40000	44000
18/10/2017	40000	55000
19/10/2017	40000	57000
20/10/2017	50000	57000
21/10/2017	50000	57000
24/10/2017	50000	57000
25/10/2017	50000	57000
26/10/2017	50000	57000
27/10/2017	50000	57000
28/10/2017	52000	57000
31/10/2017	52000	57000
01/11/2017	52000	57000
02/11/2017	52000	57000
03/11/2017	52000	60000
04/11/2017	52000	60000
07/11/2017	52000	60000
08/11/2017	52000	60000
09/11/2017	52000	60000
10/11/2017	55000	60000
11/11/2017	55000	60000
14/11/2017	55000	60000
15/11/2017	55000	60000
16/11/2017	55000	60000
17/11/2017	60000	60000
18/11/2017	60000	65000
21/11/2017	60000	70000
22/11/2017	60000	70000
23/11/2017	60000	70000
24/11/2017	60000	70000
25/11/2017	60000	70000
28/11/2017	60000	70000
29/11/2017	60000	70000
30/11/2017	60000	70000
01/12/2017	60000	70000
02/12/2017	60000	70000
05/12/2017	60000	70000
06/12/2017	70000	70000
07/12/2017	70000	70000
08/12/2017	70000	70000
09/12/2017	70000	70000
12/12/2017	70000	70000
13/12/2017	70000	70000
14/12/2017	85000	85000
15/12/2017	85000	85000
16/12/2017	85000	85000
19/12/2017	85000	85000
20/12/2017	85000	85000
21/12/2017	85000	85000
22/12/2017	85000	85000
23/12/2017	85000	85000
27/12/2017	85000	85000
28/12/2017	85000	85000
29/12/2017	85000	85000
30/12/2017	85000	85000
03/01/2018	85000	85000
04/01/2018	85000	85000
05/01/2018	75000	85000
06/01/2018	75000	85000
09/01/2018	75000	85000
10/01/2018	75000	85000
11/01/2018	75000	85000
12/01/2018	75000	85000
13/01/2018	75000	85000
16/01/2018	75000	85000
17/01/2018	75000	85000
18/01/2018	75000	85000
19/01/2018	75000	85000
20/01/2018	75000	85000
23/01/2018	75000	85000
24/01/2018	75000	85000
25/01/2018	75000	85000
26/01/2018	75000	85000
27/01/2018	75000	80000
30/01/2018	75000	80000
31/01/2018	75000	80000
01/02/2018	75000	80000
02/02/2018	75000	80000
03/02/2018	75000	75000
06/02/2018	75000	75000
07/02/2018	75000	70000
08/02/2018	70000	70000
09/02/2018	70000	70000
10/02/2018	70000	70000
13/02/2018	70000	70000
14/02/2018	70000	70000
15/02/2018	70000	70000
16/02/2018	65000	70000
17/02/2018		60000
20/02/2018	65000	60000
21/02/2018	65000	60000
22/02/2018	65000	60000
23/02/2018	65000	60000
24/02/2018	65000	60000
27/02/2018	55000	60000
28/02/2018	55000	60000
01/03/2018	55000	60000
02/03/2018	50000	60000
03/03/2018	50000	60000
06/03/2018	40000	60000
07/03/2018	40000	60000
08/03/2018	40000	60000
09/03/2018	40000	60000
10/03/2018	40000	60000
13/03/2018	40000	60000
14/03/2018	40000	60000
15/03/2018	40000	60000
16/03/2018	40000	60000
17/03/2018	40000	60000
20/03/2018	40000	60000
21/03/2018	40000	60000
22/03/2018	40000	60000
23/03/2018	40000	60000
06/04/2018	35000	45000
07/04/2018	35000	45000
10/04/2018	35000	45000
11/04/2018	35000	45000
12/04/2018	35000	45000
13/04/2018	35000	45000
14/04/2018	35000	45000
17/04/2018	35000	45000
18/04/2018	35000	45000
19/04/2018	35000	45000
20/04/2018	35000	45000
21/04/2018	35000	45000
24/04/2018	35000	45000
25/04/2018	33000	45000
26/04/2018	33000	45000
27/04/2018	33000	45000
28/04/2018	33000	45000
01/05/2018	33000	45000
02/05/2018	33000	45000
03/05/2018	33000	45000
04/05/2018	33000	45000
05/05/2018	33000	45000
08/05/2018	33000	45000
09/05/2018	33000	45000
10/05/2018	33000	45000
11/05/2018	33000	45000
12/05/2018	33000	45000
15/05/2018	33000	45000
16/05/2018	33000	45000
17/05/2018	33000	45000
18/05/2018	33000	45000
19/05/2018	33000	45000
22/05/2018	33000	45000
23/05/2018	33000	45000
24/05/2018	33000	51000
25/05/2018	33000	51000
26/05/2018	33000	51000
30/05/2018	33000	51000
31/05/2018	35000	51000
01/06/2018	35000	51000
02/06/2018	35000	51000
05/06/2018	35000	51000
06/06/2018	35000	51000
07/06/2018	35000	51000
08/06/2018	35000	58000
09/06/2018	39000	58000
12/06/2018	39000	61000
13/06/2018	39000	61000
14/06/2018	39000	61000
15/06/2018	39000	65000
16/06/2018	39000	65000
19/06/2018	50000	95000
20/06/2018	50000	95000
21/06/2018	65000	95000
22/06/2018	65000	95000
23/06/2018	65000	95000
26/06/2018	65000	85000
27/06/2018	75000	85000
28/06/2018	75000	85000
29/06/2018	75000	85000
30/06/2018	75000	85000
03/07/2018	75000	85000
04/07/2018	75000	85000
05/07/2018	75000	75000
06/07/2018	65000	75000
07/07/2018	65000	75000
10/07/2018	65000	75000
11/07/2018	65000	75000
12/07/2018	65000	75000
13/07/2018	65000	70000
14/07/2018	65000	70000
17/07/2018	65000	70000
18/07/2018	65000	70000
19/07/2018	65000	70000
20/07/2018	65000	70000
21/07/2018	65000	70000
24/07/2018	65000	70000
25/07/2018	58000	70000
26/07/2018	58000	70000
27/07/2018	58000	70000
28/07/2018	58000	70000
01/08/2018	58000	70000
02/08/2018	58000	70000
03/08/2018	58000	70000
04/08/2018	58000	70000
07/08/2018	58000	70000
08/08/2018	58000	70000
09/08/2018	58000	70000
10/08/2018	58000	75000
11/08/2018	60000	75000
14/08/2018	60000	75000
15/08/2018	64000	75000
16/08/2018	64000	75000
17/08/2018	64000	75000
18/08/2018	64000	75000
21/08/2018	69500	75000
22/08/2018	75000	64000
23/08/2018	75000	64000
24/08/2018	75000	64000
25/08/2018	75000	64000
28/08/2018	75000	64000
29/08/2018	75000	64000
30/08/2018	75000	64000
31/08/2018	85000	64000
01/09/2018	64000	75000
04/09/2018	64000	85000
05/09/2018	64000	85000
06/09/2018	64000	85000
07/09/2018	64000	80000
08/09/2018	80000	80000
11/09/2018	80000	80000
12/09/2018	90000	80000
13/09/2018	90000	90000
14/09/2018	90000	90000
15/09/2018	90000	90000
18/09/2018	100000	90000
19/09/2018	100000	90000
20/09/2018	100000	110000
21/09/2018	110000	110000
22/09/2018	110000	110000
25/09/2018	110000	110000
26/09/2018	110000	110000
27/09/2018	110000	95000
28/09/2018	110000	95000
29/09/2018	100000	95000
02/10/2018	100000	95000
03/10/2018	100000	95000
04/10/2018	100000	95000
05/10/2018	100000	95000
06/10/2018	100000	95000
09/10/2018	100000	100000
10/10/2018	100000	100000
11/10/2018	100000	100000
12/10/2018	100000	100000
13/10/2018	120000	100000
16/10/2018	120000	130000
17/10/2018	140000	130000
18/10/2018	140000	130000
19/10/2018	140000	130000
20/10/2018	140000	130000
{
	"chart":{
		"type":"line",
		"height":"45%"
	},
	"yAxis":{
		"title":{
			"text":"USD/day"
		}
	},
	"title":{
		"text":"Evolution of regional spot charter rates for LNG carriers, 2010-18"
	},
	"tooltip":{
		"valueSuffix":" USD/day",
		"shared":true
	},
	"xAxis":{
		"type":"category",
		"tickInterval":200,
		"labels":{
			"style":{
				"textOverflow":"none"
			}
		}
	}
}

Source: IEA calculations based on data from ICIS (2018), https://www.icis.com/energy/liquefied-natural-gas/lng-market-intelligence-solution/ (subscription required)

Of course, risk exposure is not the same for all markets. Mature markets in Asia, Europe or North America have storage, diversified power generation assets, demand response measures and other mitigation tools at their disposal – plus they are more likely to endure higher prices than buyers from emerging markets. At the same time, the LNG short-term supply pool, for which Japan, Korea and Europe used to be the sole buyers, has now to be shared with a growing number of buyers.

The night is dark and full of terrors … or is it?

In the end, for gas markets as for television series, the outcome is never certain and some twists and surprises are likely to happen along the way. For winter gas demand needs, it boils down to remembering that weather is highly unpredictable. This may seem obvious, and yet out-of-the-norm winters tend to have lasting impacts on market behaviour.

If the coming winter happens to be a mild one, market prices are likely to remain stable or even decrease in the most extreme cases. A side effect could be that gas in stock would not be used as expected; market operators who booked and paid for storage capacities would tend to see them as useless costs. Finally, the overall market sentiment could probably end up considering security of supply as not so necessary – until the next tight market episode. For it can also happen to be the other way around, with risks of strong price volatility, (much) higher market prices and, in the worst-case scenario, some physical supply issues such as last winter in China.

Highlighting the importance of security of supply issues and their potential consequences is not about fearmongering, of course. It is about raising awareness of market stakeholders and policy makers and underscore that once-in-a-lifetime weather or security events do happen – sometimes more than once.

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