(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The Japanese government is aiming at launching the world's first futures trading market for liquefied natural gas (LNG) by March of 2014, public broadcaster NHK reported Tuesday.
Domestic demand for LNG surged after operations were halted at Japan's nuclear power plants following last year March's accident at Fukushima Daiichi complex, and this led to a rise in imports of LNG. But LNG has been trading at higher prices because it is linked to crude oil prices, which remain high.
In the planned futures market, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry hopes LNG will be traded at prices that correspond to the actual supply-and-demand situation, said the report.
The ministry thinks if many LNG-producing nations take part in the planned futures market, prices will come down. To realize the plan, the ministry will set up a council with power and gas companies as well as financial institutions, the report said, adding that the council will study a system to establish LNG prices and the market's trading system. The ministry hopes Japan and other Asian LNG-consuming countries will also participate in the market, the report added.