Japan’s November LNG imports drop

Japan, the world’s top liquefied natural gas importer this year, reported lower LNG imports in November while the import bill rose more than 50 percent compared to the same month last year.

According to the provisional data released by the country’s Ministry of Finance, Japan’s LNG imports dropped by 5.4 percent year-on-year in November to about 5.54 million tonnes.

November LNG imports rose compared to 5.08 million tonnes in October.

In addition, Japan’s coal imports for power generation dropped in November when compared to the last year.

Coal imports were down by 18.5 percent to 8.50 million tonnes, the data shows.

Prices rise

According to the preliminary data, the November LNG import bill of about $5.54 billion increased by 51.9 percent when compared to the same month last year.

State-run Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp (JOGMEC) said earlier this month that the average price of spot LNG cargoes for delivery to Japan contracted in November was $22.9 per mmBtu, compared to 38.9 per mmBtu in the prior month. The arrival-based price in November reached $18.4 per mmBtu.

The JKM LNG price price for January settled at $33.345 per mmBtu on Wednesday.

Japan is helping firms, such as Jera, to buy LNG supplies due to high prices and to ensure a stable supply of electricity in Japan.

Russian, US LNG deliveries drop

As per LNG shipments going to Japan in November, deliveries from Asia from countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia rose by 5 percent to 1.62 million tonnes, the ministry’s data shows.

Middle East LNG shipments from countries such Qatar were down by 54.2 percent to 481,000 tonnes.

Moreover, shipments from Russia decreased by 14.4 percent to 446,000 tonnes while US deliveries dropped by 52.2 percent to 191,000 tonnes.

Top LNG importer

China became the world’s largest LNG importer last year, overtaking Japan by more than four million tonnes, but the roles changed again this year.

With the November figure, Japan took about 65.89 million tonnes of LNG in the January-November period.

China is yet to release the official numbers for November. The country imported about 50.51 million tonnes of LNG in January-October, or about 9.8 million tonnes less than Japan.

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