IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/eneeco/v45y2014icp324-332.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Price discrimination and limits to arbitrage: An analysis of global LNG markets

Author

Listed:
  • Ritz, Robert A.

Abstract

Gas prices around the world vary widely despite being connected by international trade of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Some industry observers argue that major exporters have acted irrationally by not arbitraging prices. This is also difficult to reconcile with a competitive model in which regional price differences exist solely because of transport costs. We show that a model which incorporates market power can rationalize observed prices and trade flows. We highlight how different features of the LNG market limit the ability and/or incentive of other players to engage in arbitrage, including constraints in LNG shipping. We also present some rough estimates of market power in short-term sales by Qatar (to Japan and the UK), and discuss the potential impact of US LNG exports.

Suggested Citation

  • Ritz, Robert A., 2014. "Price discrimination and limits to arbitrage: An analysis of global LNG markets," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 324-332.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:45:y:2014:i:c:p:324-332
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2014.07.013
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140988314001704
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Franz Hubert & Svetlana Ikonnikova, 2011. "Investment Options And Bargaining Power: The Eurasian Supply Chain For Natural Gas," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 85-116, March.
    2. Allaz Blaise & Vila Jean-Luc, 1993. "Cournot Competition, Forward Markets and Efficiency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 1-16, February.
    3. Christian Growitsch & Harald Hecking & Timo Panke, 2014. "Supply Disruptions and Regional Price Effects in a Spatial Oligopoly—An Application to the Global Gas Market," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(5), pages 944-975, November.
    4. Dirk Bergemann & Benjamin Brooks & Stephen Morris, 2015. "The Limits of Price Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(3), pages 921-957, March.
    5. Iñaki Aguirre & Simon Cowan & John Vickers, 2010. "Monopoly Price Discrimination and Demand Curvature," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1601-1615, September.
    6. Kenneth S. Corts, 1998. "Third-Degree Price Discrimination in Oligopoly: All-Out Competition and Strategic Commitment," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(2), pages 306-323, Summer.
    7. Corinne Chaton & Laure Durand-Viel, 2013. "Real Asset Valuation under Imperfect Competition: Can We Forget About Market Fundamentals?," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 125-139, March.
    8. David M. Newbery, 2008. "Climate Change Policy and Its Effect on Market Power in the Gas Market," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(4), pages 727-751, June.
    9. Wietze Lise and Benjamin F. Hobbs, 2009. "A Dynamic Simulation of Market Power in the Liberalised European Natural Gas Market," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Special I), pages 119-136.
    10. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1997. " The Limits of Arbitrage," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 35-55, March.
    11. Holz, Franziska & von Hirschhausen, Christian & Kemfert, Claudia, 2008. "A strategic model of European gas supply (GASMOD)," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 766-788, May.
    12. Holmes, Thomas J, 1989. "The Effects of Third-Degree Price Discrimination in Oligopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 244-250, March.
    13. Christopher Knittel & Catherine Wolfram & James Bushnell & Severin Borenstein, 2006. "Inefficiencies and Market Power in Financial Arbitrage: A Study of California?s Electricity Markets," Working Papers 630, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
    14. Salant, Stephen W, 1976. "Exhaustible Resources and Industrial Structure: A Nash-Cournot Approach to the World Oil Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(5), pages 1079-1093, October.
    15. Acharya, Viral V. & Lochstoer, Lars A. & Ramadorai, Tarun, 2013. "Limits to arbitrage and hedging: Evidence from commodity markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 441-465.
    16. Yongmin Chen & Marius Schwartz, 2015. "Differential pricing when costs differ: a welfare analysis," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 46(2), pages 442-460, June.
    17. Anne Neumann, 2009. "Linking Natural Gas Markets - Is LNG Doing its Job?," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Special I), pages 187-200.
    18. Dagobert L. Brito & Peter R. Hartley, 2007. "Expectations and the Evolving World Gas Market," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 1-24.
    19. Pedro A. Almoguera & Christopher C. Douglas & Ana María Herrera, 2011. "Testing for the cartel in OPEC: non-cooperative collusion or just non-cooperative?," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(1), pages 144-168, Spring.
    20. Siliverstovs, Boriss & L'Hegaret, Guillaume & Neumann, Anne & von Hirschhausen, Christian, 2005. "International market integration for natural gas? A cointegration analysis of prices in Europe, North America and Japan," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 603-615, July.
    21. Doane, Michael J & Spulber, Daniel F, 1994. "Open Access and the Evolution of the U.S. Spot Market for Natural Gas," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(2), pages 477-517, October.
    22. Simon Cowan, 2012. "Third-Degree Price Discrimination and Consumer Surplus," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(2), pages 333-345, June.
    23. Anton Nakov & Galo Nuño, 2013. "Saudi Arabia and the Oil Market," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123(12), pages 1333-1362, December.
    24. repec:dau:papers:123456789/11439 is not listed on IDEAS
    25. Ruud Egging, Franziska Holz, Christian von Hirschhausen and Steven A. Gabriel, 2009. "Representing GASPEC with the World Gas Model," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Special I), pages 97-118.
    26. Stole, Lars A., 2007. "Price Discrimination and Competition," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
    27. Blaise Allaz & Jean-Luc Vila, 1993. "Cournot Competition, Forward Markets and Efficiency," Post-Print hal-00511806, HAL.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Robert A. Ritz, 2015. "Strategic investment and international spillovers in natural gas markets," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1510, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    2. Chi-Kong Chyong & Roman Kazmin, 2016. "The economics of global LNG trade: the case of Atlantic and Pacific inter-basin arbitrage in 2010-2014," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1604, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    3. Robert A. Ritz, 2016. "Strategic investment, multimarket interaction and competitive advantage: An application to the natural gas industry," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1603, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    International trade; Limits to arbitrage; Market power; Natural gas; Price discrimination;

    JEL classification:

    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • L95 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Gas Utilities; Pipelines; Water Utilities

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:45:y:2014:i:c:p:324-332. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eneco .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.