India’s March LNG imports decline

India’s monthly LNG imports dropped 7.8 percent in March 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 to 2.61 billion cubic meters or about 1.92 million tonnes in March.

LNG imports rose when compared to the last month.

Total LNG imports in the April 2021-March 2022 period decreased by 3.4 percent to 31.90 bcm or about 23.45 million tonnes, PPAC said.

On the other side, natural gas production in March increased by 7.5 percent to 2.88 bcm, while it rose 18.7 percent in the April-March period to 34.02 bcm, it said.

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

It dropped in the meantime and the JKM LNG price for June traded at 25.290/MMBtu on Friday.

The data from PPAC said India has paid $1 billion for March LNG imports, compared to $0.8 billion last year. In the April-March period, the price tag reached $11.9 billion, which compares to $7.9 billion in the same period in the year before.

At the moment, India imports LNG via six facilities with a combined capacity of about 42.7 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 88.5 percent capacity while Shell’s 5 mtpa Hazira terminal operated at 50 percent capacity in April-February, the PPAC data shows.

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