Japan, the world’s top liquefied natural gas importer this year, said its LNG imports dropped 0.4 percent in July, while prices continued to rise.
Last month Japan took about 6.16 million tonnes of LNG, slightly down from 6.18 million tonnes in July 2021, according to the provisional data released by the country’s Ministry of Finance.
LNG imports in July logged a rise when compared to 5.80 million tonnes in the prior month.
Also, Japan’s coal imports for power generation dropped year-on-year in July.
Coal imports decreased by 4.1 percent to 9.36 million tonnes, the data shows.
Japan paid about $5.73 billion for LNG supplies in July. This marks a rise of 124.1 percent when compared to the same month in 2021, according to the data.
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 July had reached $32.8 per mmBtu.
This compares to 23.3 per mmBtu in June.
US LNG deliveries up 8.9 percent
Looking at LNG shipments in July, deliveries from Asia from countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia rose by 19.6 percent to 1.72 million tonnes, the ministry’s data shows.
Middle East LNG shipments from countries like Qatar were down by 54.7 percent to 401,000 tonnes.
Additionally, shipments from Russia dropped by 26.1 percent to 562,000 tonnes, while US deliveries increased by 8.9 percent to 665,000 tonnes.
World’s biggest LNG importer
China became the world’s largest LNG importer last year, overtaking Japan by more than four million tonnes.
This year, the roles changed again and Japan continues to be the world’s largest LNG importer.
With the July figure, Japan took about 43.68 million tonnes of LNG in the January-July period.
China is yet to release the official numbers for July. The country imported about 31.26 million tonnes in January-June, down some 6.2 million tonnes when compared to Japan’s LNG imports.