Natural gas prices in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil and Chile

Natural gas prices in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil and Chile

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I must admit that the title should be more accurate, since with this post this time I’ll comment the natural gas imported (with LNG) in Argentina, Brazil and Chile and in the case of Bolivia I’ll do with the export ones. I will not discuss a set of important prices in four economies… the domestic ones.

Using as a source of information the government publications of each country I got the import unit values ​​and export prices in the case of Bolivia. An advantage of this information is that it’s free, however, is not always updated. In any case, to study the price trends in the region.

Lets see the data. The following graph shows the price behavior for 2011 – 2014, it is necessary to clarify that the word «Imp» means imported and «Exp» exported. All prices are in $US per thousand cubic foot.

While the graph speaks for itself, I would like to highlight some aspects: 1 ) in general Brazil and Argentina have the highest LNG import prices, however, the fall observed in Argentina in recent months means that we should pay attention to what will happen in 2014; 2 ) Chile, meanwhile, in year 2011 was not far from Argentinean prices, however, the price follow a decreasing trend and in 2013 we can observe values near $US 9/TCF ; 3) export prices of Bolivia remain stable between 9 and 11 this is because international oil prices, during this period, were not away from average; 4) finally, in 2013 we appreciate a slight downward trend in LNG import prices.

Well my friends was a short post to present a job that took a few hours (build the graph was not easy) but the results are very interesting . Why? Let’s see why, if for example Argentina has access to «cheap» natural gas through LNG, the Bolivian natural gas can «lose competitiveness» and perhaps this requires that Bolivians be more cautious in our economic policy. Or, for example , the gap between the import prices of Chile and Argentina, opens a very interesting arbitrage opportunities… I’ll not say which ones but I’m sure that you already know. Ok «un abrazo» and have a really nice «semana santa».

Mauricio Medinaceli

Kabul, April 13, 2014

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