India’s February LNG imports slightly down

India’s monthly LNG imports dropped slightly in February when compared to the year before, while prices remain high.

Preliminary data from the oil ministry’s Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell shows that LNG imports declined by just 0.5 percent to 2.50 billion cubic meters or about 1.84 million tonnes in February.

LNG imports rose when compared to the last month.

Total LNG imports in the April-February period decreased by 3 percent to 29.29 bcm or about 21.53 million tonnes, PPAC said.

On the other side, natural gas production in February increased 12.8 percent to 2.60 bcm, while it rose 19.8 percent in the April-February period to 31.13 bcm, it said.

One of the main reasons behind India’s lower LNG imports is still the high spot price which currently trades well above $30/MMBtu, prompting Indian buyers to hold off on buying spot volumes.

The data from PPAC said India has paid $1 billion for February LNG imports, compared to $0.8 billion last year. In the April-February period, the price tag reached $10.9 billion, which compares to $7 billion in the same period in the year before.

At the moment, India imports LNG via six facilities with a combined capacity of 42.5 million tonnes. H-Energy’s FSRU-based import facility in Jaigarh should also start operating later this year.

Petronet LNG’s 17.5 mtpa Dahej terminal operated at 89.1 percent capacity while Shell’s 5 mtpa Hazira terminal operated at 52.6 percent capacity in April-January, the PPAC data shows.

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