Australian wholesale gas prices lower than Asian average

gas prices, ALP, pipeline, Blue Energy

The latest international survey of wholesale gas prices has confirmed Australian prices are among the lowest in the Asia region.

The International Gas Union’s Wholesale Gas Price Survey 2018 shows the average wholesale gas price in Australia last year ($US4.62/MMBTU) was about 40 per cent less than the average wholesale price for the Asia‑Pacific region and around one-third less than the average wholesale price in Asia.

Australia’s leading trade partners Japan, South Korea and China all paid average wholesale gas prices between $US7 and over $US8/MMBTU.

Australia also enjoyed lower wholesale gas prices than its two regional LNG export competitors, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Globally, Australia’s average wholesale price ranked 29th in a survey of 54 nations.

“While prices for new contracts on the east coast are higher than they once were, the evidence shows the widely repeated claim Australian prices are higher than prices in the countries importing our liquefied natural gas (LNG) is wrong,” APPEA chief executive Dr Malcolm Roberts said.

“While the Australian gas market is tight and prices for new contracts are higher than they have been historically, it remains the case that across the economy, Australian gas consumers are not paying prices above those paid on average in Japan or other LNG importing nations.

“Quite the opposite is true. Australia’s wholesale gas prices remain in the ‘middle of the pack’, a position we have held for many years.”

The IGU’s report follows the recent release of the 2018 Gas Statement of Opportunities (GSOO) by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) which confirmed the actions taken by the industry to bring more gas into the domestic market have removed any concerns about potential shortfalls out to 2030.

“Reports this year by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and independent consultants engaged by COAG show east coast gas prices have fallen from the elevated prices experienced in 2016 and early 2017,” Dr Roberts said.

“Prices will fluctuate according to many factors but the last twelve months have seen a general improvement.”