India’s November LNG imports slide as prices surge

India’s LNG imports dropped for the sixth straight month in November when compared to the year before, while prices continued to increase.

Data from the oil ministry’s Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell shows that LNG imports declined by 20.8 percent to 2.22 billion cubic meters or about 1.61 million tonnes in November.

Compared to the previous month, LNG imports dropped by almost 12 percent.

Total LNG imports in the April-November period decreased by 3.7 percent to 21.59 bcm or about 15.65 million tonnes.

On the other side, natural gas production in November increased by 23.1 percent to 2.86 bcm while it rose 21.8 percent in the April-November period to 22.77 bcm.

One of the main reasons behind India’s lower LNG imports is probably the high spot price which still trades above $40/MMBtu, prompting Indian buyers to hold off on buying spot volumes. The JKM spot LNG price surged to $56.326/MMBtu in October.

The data from PPAC said India has paid $1.1 billion for November LNG imports, compared to $0.6 billion last year.

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 91.4 percent capacity while Shell’s 5 mtpa Hazira terminal operated at 70.1 percent capacity in April-November, the PPAC data shows.

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