Japan LNG and crude imports now in free fall

JAPAN is Australia’s largest LNG export market, but yesterday’s import data from its Ministry of Finance could be cause for concern for Australian gas producers.
Japan LNG and crude imports now in free fall Japan LNG and crude imports now in free fall Japan LNG and crude imports now in free fall Japan LNG and crude imports now in free fall Japan LNG and crude imports now in free fall

Paul Hunt

Senior Journalist: Oil & Gas, Policy.

Paul Hunt

 

Figures from the Ministry of Finance show overall LNG imports to Japan have fallen for the fifth consecutive month.

The world's largest LNG importer received 7.2 million tonnes of the fuel in April, down 1.2% on the prior year. 

However, the latest data showed it had received just 4.51 million tonnes of LNG over May, down 18.9% from this time last year. This is the lowest level of LNG imports to Japan since 2010.

May LNG deliveries from the Asia region, which includes Australia, Indonesia, and Malaysia, fell nearly 30% or by 965,000 tonnes. 

Meanwhile imports from the Middle East, mainly Qatar, had dropped by 16.8% or by 660,000 tonnes. 

The US on the other hand saw shipments more than double or by 409,000 tonnes of LNG. 

Other petroleum imports also fell drastically, by 36% on May 2019, to 9.5 million kiloliters of crude, or 59.7 million barrels. This is the lowest level of crude imports the country has seen in over three decades. 

Coal imports now outweigh both LNG and other petroleum commodities. Over May, Japan imported 7.2 million tonnes. 

It comes as Japan sweats through an unseasonably warm winter and COVID-19 pandemic restrictions limited travel and energy generation. 

 

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