Japan’s February LNG imports down 12 percent

Japan’s LNG imports reached 7.10 million tonnes in February, down 11.9 percent when compared to the same month in the year before, according to the provisional data released by the country’s Ministry of Finance.

Compared to the previous month when Japan took 6.78 million tonnes, LNG imports rose about 4.7 percent.

Japan’s coal imports for power generation also decreased year-on-year in February. Coal imports dropped 3.2 percent to 9.51 million tonnes, the data shows.

Prices surge

Japan paid about $5.71 billion for LNG supplies in February a rise of 64.3 percent when compared to the last year.

State-run Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp (JOGMEC) said earlier this month the average contract-based price for spot LNG cargoes shipped to Japan in February had reached $26.4 per mmBtu. In January, this price reached $26 per mmBtu.

Looking at LNG shipments in February, deliveries from Asia from countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia declined by 5.9 percent to 1.83 million tonnes, the ministry’s data shows.

Middle East LNG shipments from countries like Qatar were down by 28.9 percent to 854,000 tonnes.

Additionally, shipments from Russia decreased by 9 percent to 653,000 tonnes while US deliveries dropped 56.6 percent to 411,000 tonnes.

LNG inventories at 1.47 million tonnes

Japan’s LNG inventories, held by the country’s major power utilities, stood at 1.47 million tonnes as of March 6, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

This marked a drop when compared to the week before of 1.80 million tonnes and is the lowest amount registered for this winter.

To remind, METI said in October that LNG stocks hit around 2.3 million tonnes as of October 15, a rise of 0.7 million tonnes from a year earlier.

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