India’s monthly LNG imports continue to drop

India’s monthly LNG imports continued to drop in January 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 10.6 percent to 2.40 billion cubic meters or about 1.75 million tons in January.

LNG imports dropped when compared to the last month as well.

Total LNG imports in the April-January period decreased by 3.2 percent to 26.78 bcm or about 19.41 million tons, PPAC said.

On the other side, natural gas production in January increased 12.2 percent to 2.86 bcm, while it rose 20.5 percent in the April-January period to 28.53 bcm, it said.

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

The data from PPAC said India has paid $0.9 billion for January LNG imports, compared to $0.8 billion last year. In the April-January period, the price tag reached $9.9 billion, which compares to $6.2 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.

Petronet LNG’s 17.5 mtpa Dahej terminal operated at 90 percent capacity while Shell’s 5 mtpa Hazira terminal operated at 57.2 percent capacity in April-December, the PPAC data shows.

Despite lower volumes at its Dahej and Kochi terminals, India’s largest LNG importer, Petronet LNG, recently reported its highest-ever quarterly profit.

“In spite of the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and high spot prices, the company was able to achieve robust results owing to efficient commercial management,” Petronet LNG said.

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