(MENAFN- Emirates News Agency (WAM))
WASHINGTON, 29th October 2017 (WAM) -- World natural gas prices are projected to rise 3 percent in 2018, driven by robust demand in the United States, the World Bank said.
''In the United States, prices are expected to increase 4 percent to US$3.1/mmbtu on strong domestic demand, rising exports, and modest gains in production'' the World Bank said in its October Commodity Markets Outlook.
''More moderate increases are expected in Europe and Japan, largely tracking oil prices. Markets are expected to be well supplied over the next several years, owing to large increases in LNG capacity, mainly in Australia and the United States.'' ''European gas prices were unchanged at $5.3/mmbtu. However, spot prices rose to $7.0/mmbtu in October on strong demand ahead of winter for stocking, and reflected reduced nuclear capacity in France, high coal prices, and tight LNG supply,'' the report added.
Natural gas prices fell 2 percent in the third quarter (q/q), but averaged 26 percent higher in the first nine months compared to the same period in 2016, largely reflecting a similar increase in oil prices.
In the third quarter, prices in the United States fell 4 percent to $2.9/mmbtu due to mild weather, reduced demand from those impacted by hurricanes, rising production, and ample levels of storage ahead of winter. Looking ahead, demand for gas is expected to strengthen from new chemical and fertilizer capacity and from rising exports by pipeline to Mexico and via liquefied natural gas, LNG, worldwide.
The World Bank's Commodity Markets Outlook provides detailed market analysis for major commodity groups, including energy, metals, agriculture, precious metals, and fertilisers. The report includes price forecasts to 2030 for more than 45 commodities. It also provides historical price data and supply, demand, and trade balances for most commodities.
WAM/Tariq alfaham/Hatem Mohamed
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