The global liquefied natural gas industry takes a major step forward today with the launch of a new online trading platform for the sector.
The GLX global LNG exchange will facilitate auctions of LNG cargoes on behalf of buyers and sellers anywhere in the world. It will also support the development of transparent regional price benchmarks for the commodity.
The platform will be open to all buyers and sellers of LNG to trade single cargoes, also known as spot cargoes.
GLX founder and CEO Damien Criddle said the LNG market had grown substantially in recent years, with about 75 sellers and 75 buyers engaged in the worldwide trade. Mr Criddle observed that there is currently no efficient way to bring buyers and sellers together, with most cargoes traded on a bilateral basis between parties which had existing relationships.
“A global exchange for LNG means sellers can be satisfied they are securing fair market prices for their spot cargoes, rather than relying on their own market intelligence and the strength of their relationships,” Mr Criddle said.
“Equally, buyers of LNG can now go to the exchange and secure a cargo from anywhere in the world by simply registering their interest and eliciting the best value bid from a range of suppliers.
“GLX will provide a greater level of transparency for market participants and provide buyers and sellers of LNG with greater assurance that spot cargoes are being traded for their true market value.
“Importantly, GLX will also allow LNG sales to be conducted with speed and simplicity.”
The GLX platform was developed in Australia by LNG industry professionals who saw the opportunity for LNG trading to undergo a technological transformation.
Development of the platform was undertaken in consultation with a number of sellers and buyers in the sector, with the feedback being incorporated into the final design. GLX will operate the platform in Singapore, with auctions being conducted based on either Singapore or London time.
Parties initiating an auction set the commercial terms, including a reserve price, and select the counterparties they wish to invite into the auction. Successful auctions result in binding sales contracts.
Short-term sales now represent nearly 30% of the global LNG trade, or about 1200 cargoes per year.
GLX Chairman Rob Cole said the company had consulted extensively with LNG sector participants, industry commentators and interested governments to create an exchange which was deliberately unaligned with any market or regional interests.
“We have sought to create a truly independent platform which serves the interests of all participants, which is a market operating on demand and supply fundamentals and based on fair and transparent pricing,” Mr Cole said.
“The global LNG industry has matured sufficiently to move to a digital platform for spot sales which can support growth in supply and demand.
“Other globally traded commodities such as coal and iron ore have moved to online platforms and we believe the time has come for the LNG industry to embrace this technology.”
Approved LNG companies will now undertake trials of the platform to ensure they are familiar with its operation before live trading commences. Trading on the platform is expected to commence early in 2017.