Australian LNG exports drop in April, China volumes near record levels

Australian LNG exports dropped in April following record highs in the month before, according to EnergyQuest.

In April, Australian projects shipped in total 6.9 million tonnes or 99 cargoes, down from record 7.2 million tonnes or 105 cargoes in March, the consultancy said in its monthly report.

Compared to April last year when Australia exported 6.9 million tonnes or 101 cargoes, volumes remained almost flat.

In addition, the consultancy’s data for April shows strong exports to China despite several recent reports saying that Australia’s ongoing trade dispute with China would affect LNG.

Australian projects delivered 43 cargoes to China in April, nearly a record, after delivering 29 in March and 40 in April 2020, the consultancy said.

However, declining production from projects such as Woodside’s North West Shelf could affect Australian exports in the future.

“Lack of gas for LNG projects is a bigger threat to LNG exports than anything China might do,” EnergyQuest said.

In particular, EnergyQuest expects production from the North West Shelf but also some of the Queensland projects to start declining later this decade, it said.

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