India’s monthly LNG imports continue to drop

India’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports decreased for the third straight month in August when compared to the year ago.

LNG imports dropped by 3.4 percent to 2.87 billion cubic meters or about 2.08 million tonnes in August, data from the oil ministry’s Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell shows.

Compared to the previous month, LNG imports rose by about 13.9 percent.

Also, total LNG imports in the April-August period increased by 0.7 percent to 13.03 bcm or about 9.44 million tonnes.

On the other side, natural gas production in August increased 20.2 percent to 2.92 bcm while it rose 19.9 percent in the April-August period to 13.98 bcm.

One of the reasons behind India’s lower LNG imports is probably the high spot price which currently trades above $25/MMBtu, prompting Indian buyers to hold off on buying spot volumes. The data from PPAC said India paid $1.1 billion for August LNG imports, rising substantially when compared to $0.6 billion last year.

In addition, India’s demand for LNG dropped in May and June as lockdowns to curb the second deadly wave of Covid-19 hit industrial activities and consumption.

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 90.1 percent capacity while Shell’s 5 mtpa Hazira terminal operated at 72 percent capacity in April-July, the PPAC data shows.

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