India’s monthly LNG imports log another decline

India’s monthly LNG imports continued to drop in December when compared to the year before, while prices remain high.

Preliminary data from the oil ministry’s Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell shows that LNG imports declined by 4.9 percent to 2.61 billion cubic meters or about 1.90 million tonnes in December.

LNG imports rose when compared to the last month.

Total LNG imports in the April-December period decreased by 2.8 percent to 24.46 bcm or about 17.8 million tonnes, PPAC said.

On the other side, natural gas production in December increased 19.5 percent to 2.89 bcm, while it rose 21.5 percent in the April-December period to 25.67 bcm, it said.

One of the main reasons behind India’s lower LNG imports is still the high spot price which traded above $30/MMBtu in December, prompting Indian buyers to hold off on buying spot volumes.

The data from PPAC said India has paid $0.9 billion for December LNG imports, compared to $0.7 billion last year. In the April-December period, the price tag reached $8.7 billion, which compares to $5.4 billion in the same period in the year before.

At the moment, India imports LNG via six facilities with a combined capacity of 42.5 million tonnes.

Petronet LNG’s 17.5 mtpa Dahej terminal operated at 90.2 percent capacity while Shell’s 5 mtpa Hazira terminal operated at 63.2 percent capacity in April-December, the PPAC data shows.

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