Japan’s LNG imports reached 74.31 million tonnes in 2021

Japan’s LNG imports reached 74.31 million tonnes in 2021, dropping just 0.2 percent when compared to the year before. China has overtaken Japan as the world’s largest LNG importer by about 4.62 million tonnes.

In December, Japan received 7.03 million tonnes of LNG, down 8.9 percent when compared to the same month last year, according to the provisional data released by the country’s Ministry of Finance.

Compared to the previous month when Japan took 5.86 million tonnes, LNG imports rose about 20 percent.

On the other side, Japan’s coal imports for power generation rose 7 percent to 9.91 million tonnes in December.

As per prices, Japan paid about $5.21 billion for LNG supplies in December, a rise of 100.5 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 December had reached $33.2/mmBtu. JOGMEC posted the same arrival-based price.

US LNG deliveries surge

According to the data, LNG deliveries to Japan from the US surged during the entire 2021.

Out of the 74.31 million tonnes, the US provided 7.07 million tonnes of LNG, up 49.7 percent year-on-year.

Russian LNG deliveries to Japan reached 6.56 million tonnes in the January-December period, a rise of 6.9 percent.

Deliveries from Asia from countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia dropped by 2.3 percent to 16.42 million tonnes, the ministry’s data shows.

Middle East LNG shipments from sources like Qatar dropped slightly by 0.2 percent to 12.2 million tonnes.

LNG inventories drop

Japan’s LNG inventories, held by the country’s major power utilities, dropped this month, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

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 stood at 2.37 million tonnes on December 12.

According to METI’s newest data, LNG stocks dropped 6.9 percent to 2.01 million tonnes on January 16 from the prior week but were higher when compared to the 1.49 million tonnes recorded at the end of January 2021.

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