Australian LNG exports continue to climb

Australian LNG exports almost hit a record high in August, boosted by more shipments to China, Japan and Taiwan, according to EnergyQuest.

In August, Australian projects shipped in total 7.18 million tonnes or 105 cargoes, higher than July, and just short of the record of 7.2 million tonnes or 105 cargoes in March, the consultancy said in its monthly report.

Compared with July, Australian projects delivered 14 additional cargoes to China, Japan and Taiwan in August, but four fewer cargoes to Korea, Malaysia and Singapore, it said.

Shipments from the west coast increased to 5.3 million tonnes in August, with 76 cargoes in August compared to 72 in July. A year ago, the west coast shipped 70 cargoes or 4.9 million tonnes The consultancy noted that Chevron’s Gorgon and Shell’s Prelude are now operating at full capacity.

As previously reported by LNG Prime, east coast shipments increased to 1.9 million tonnes in August with 29 cargoes, compared to 27 in July, and 26 cargoes a year ago. The east coast projects operated at 87 percent of nameplate capacity during August, EnergyQuest said.

There were four spot LNG cargoes from the east coast in August and five spot cargoes from the west coast. This represents some 9 percent of total shipments, the consultancy said.

Australian LNG unaffected by record spot prices

EnergyQuest said Australian LNG exports remain unaffected by the record spot LNG prices.

Significant growth in gas demand post-Covid-19 in both North Asia and Europe has created competition for LNG cargoes, particularly from the US and Qatar, pushing up gas spot prices to record levels for this time of the year, it said.

Asian LNG spot prices have surged past $20/MMBtu in September this year, with the S&P Global Platts JKM for October delivery assessed at $25.075/MMBtu on September 15.

“Australian LNG is relatively unaffected, with most projects already operating near capacity and with revenue largely linked to oil prices rather than spot prices,” EnergyQuest said.

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