India’s LNG imports drop in March

India’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports decreased in March, after rising in both January and February, according to the preliminary data from the oil ministry’s Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell.

The country imported 2.23 billion cubic meters or about 1.65 million tonnes of LNG in March, a drop of 15.2 percent when compared to the same month in 2022, PPAC said.

Also, March LNG imports were slightly down when compared to 2.25 bcm in February.

During the April 2022-March 2023 financial year, India took 26.64 bcm of LNG, or some 20.1 million tonnes, down by 14.1 percent, PPAC said.

India paid $1.5 billion for March LNG imports, the same as in 2022, while costs increased about 32.6 percent year-on-year to $17.9 billion in April-March, it said.

As per India’s natural gas production, it rose by 2.4 percent to 2.95 bcm in March. Gas production increased by 1.3 percent in April-March to 34.45 bcm.

India’s monthly LNG imports have been constantly dropping last year due to mostly high spot prices.

However, Asian spot LNG prices dropped this year, prompting some buyers in India to return to the spot market.

At the moment, India imports LNG via six facilities with a combined capacity of about 42.7 million tonnes.

In addition, India’s Adani and France’s TotalEnergies have this week started supplying natural gas to the grid from their Dhamra LNG import facility located in Odisha, on India’s east coast, as part of the terminal’s commissioning phase.

Petronet LNG’s 17.5 mtpa Dahej terminal operated at 77.8 percent capacity, while Shell’s 5 mtpa Hazira terminal operated at 36.2 percent capacity in April-February, PPAC said.

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