TOKYO: Spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) contracted in August for delivery to Japan averaged $11.40 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), falling 40 cents from July, the trade ministry said on Tuesday.
Japan started releasing spot LNG prices for the first time in April to add transparency to the market amid concern about rising fuel costs in the wake of the shutdown of nuclear plants after the Fukushima crisis.
The country has been importing record volumes of LNG to run power stations following the meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi plant north of Tokyo after the March 2011 earthquake and the ensuing shutdown of all 48 of the country's reactors.
Japan takes about a third of the world's LNG shipments, importing a record 87.73 million tonnes in the year to end-March.
The average spot price is based on about 10 percent of Japan's purchases of the super-chilled fuel.
The survey looks at samples of fixed prices for LNG sold to power companies and utilities among others, and excludes spot deals linked to benchmark prices such as the US natural gas Henry Hub index.