Japan could now happily export Aussie gas to Australia


Talk about taking the mickey. Asian gas prices have cratered in the past few months, via Bloomie:

Even cheaper prices are available in Europe.

The current Asian price translates to an Australian gas price around $7. Yet, as of Friday, east coast prices are where they have been for six months at $10Gj.

Moreover, the Australian Domestic Security Mechanism (ADGSM) agreement that is supposed to prevent this kind of gouge is based upon the gas cartel sustaining prices at export net-back not the spot price, another $2 lower. In short, we should currently be enjoying dispatchable east coast gas at $5Gj, half the current price.


The situation is so preposterous that right now Japan could import Australian gas then profitably re-export it to the Australian domestic market.

Remember as well that it is gas that sets the marginal cost of electricity in the National Electricity Market (NEM). So while the election energy debate is trapped in the false binary of whether coal or renewables will cause power prices to go higher, the real culprit is right here, right now making hay completely in the open with no scrutiny at all.

Some government minister that is supposed to be monitoring the ADGSM to press the public case is clearly angling for a post-election gas sector sinecure instead.

About the author
David Llewellyn-Smith is Chief Strategist at the MB Fund and MB Super. David is the founding publisher and editor of MacroBusiness and was the founding publisher and global economy editor of The Diplomat, the Asia Pacific’s leading geo-politics and economics portal. He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.