South Korean LNG importer Kogas reported lower gas sales in December compared to the same month in the year before due to lower demand for power generation, while the company’s 2023 sales also decreased.
State-owned Kogas sold 4.08 million mt last month, a drop of 18.5 percent compared to 5.01 million mt in December 2022, according to a stock exchange filing.
December sales rose by 31.6 percent compared to the previous month’s 3.10 million mt, Kogas said.
Purchases by power firms decreased by 30.5 percent year-on-year to 1.41 million mt in December. These purchases rose by 14.5 percent compared to the previous month.
Moreover, Kogas said its city gas sales dropped by 10.3 percent year-on-year to 2.66 million mt while they jumped by 43 percent compared to the month before.
South Korean LNG imports down
During January-December this year, South Korean LNG imports dropped to 44.15 million mt from 46.39 million mt last year, customs data shows.
South Korea paid $36 billion for these LNG imports this year. This compares to $50 billion last year, the data shows.
Australia, Qatar, Malaysia, US, and Oman were the largest suppliers to Korea in 2023, the data shows.
Kogas operates 77 LNG storage tanks at five LNG import terminals in South Korea.
The large terminals include Incheon, Pyeongtaek, Tongyeong, and Samcheok, while the firm has a small-scale regasification terminal at the Aewol port on Jeju island as well.
Also, the firm is building a large terminal in Dangjin and expects to launch the first phase in December 2025.
Kogas announced in its quarterly report in November 2023 that its sales during January-September decreased by 8.6 percent to about 25.2 million mt.
The firm said that its city gas sales declined by 9.7 percent year-on-year.
Kogas said residential demand decreased due to higher average temperature, while industrial demand dropped due to the economic recession.
Also, sales to power firms decreased by 7.5 percent and Kogas said total power generation decreased due to the economic recession.
In total, Kogas sold 34.6 million mt during 2023, down from 38.3 million mt in 2022.