Japan’s LNG imports in January drop 15.8 percent

Japan’s LNG imports reached 6.78 million tonnes in January, down 15.8 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 7.03 million tonnes, LNG imports dropped about 3.5 percent.

Japan’s coal imports for power generation also decreased 1.3 percent in January to 10.5 million tonnes, the data shows.

Prices rise

Japan paid about $4.8 billion for LNG supplies in January, a rise of 52.1 percent year-on-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 January had reached $26/mmBtu. In December, this price reached $33.2/mmBtu.

Looking at LNG shipments in January, deliveries from Asia from countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia declined by 6.9 percent to 1.59 million tonnes, the ministry’s data shows.

Middle East LNG shipments from countries like Qatar were down by 55.6 percent to 634,000 tonnes.

Additionally, shipments from Russia rose by 41.1 percent to 780,000 tonnes while US deliveries dropped 31.7 percent to 651,000 tonnes.

LNG inventories at 1.78 million tonnes

Japan’s LNG inventories, held by the country’s major power utilities, stood at 1.78 million tonnes as of February 13, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

This marked a rise when compared to the week before of 1.63 million tonnes.

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.

LNG stocks reached 2.37 million tonnes on December 12 and 2.42 million tonnes on December 23.

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