Eastern Asian LNG gross imports increased by 3.4% in 2016

LNG gross imports in Eastern AsiaLNG imports in Japan, South Korea, China and Taiwan reached a total of 157.9 Mt in 2016, increasing by 3.4% compared to 2015 (152.7 Mt). This growth came mainly from China where imports surged by 33% year-on-year and to a lesser extent from Taiwan (+2.7%). In the meantime, imports of the world’s two largest consumers of LNG – Japan and South Korea – changed by -2% and +0.2%, respectively.


Cedigaz is pleased to announce the release of the latest update of its LNG databases on Liquefaction plants, Regasification terminals and Long-term contracts have been updated. You will find below a summary of the most important developments that were included in the databases in Q1 2016.

Liquefaction projects:

The most significant event in Q1 2016, is indisputably the shipment of the first US LNG cargo from Cheniere’s Sabine Pass project in February. In Australia, Chevron started producing LNG and condensate at its 15.6 Mmtpa Gorgon LNG project. The first shipment of LNG has left Barrow Island, bound for Japan. The two additional 5.2 Mmtpa trains will be progressively commissioned throughout 2016-2017. In Indonesia, the startup of the Sengkang LNG project has been pushed back by one year and we now expect it to start commercial production in 2017. Depressed prices have continued to weigh on project development. In Australia, Woodside decided to freeze the Browse FLNG project. In Indonesia, the Abadi project, another large FLNG, was postponed and will be probably be redesigned as an onshore project. In Colombia, financially embattled PEP has canceled its FLNG project and in Canada, Altagas has announced the postponement of the Douglas Channel LNG projects in Canada.

The Global LNG Trade in 2015 : Cedigaz’ First Estimates

According to Cedigaz’ First Estimates, LNG imports grew by 2.1% in 2015 to 241.2 Mt. Main highlights include the reversal of growth trends in Asia and in Europe, the emerging role of the MENA countries as LNG importers and the growth of intraregional and intra-basin trade due to the convergence of global prices.

Change in growth trends in Asia and Europe

After many years of growing demand in Asia and declining demand in Europe, trends changed on the two largest LNG markets in 2015. For the first time since 2009, Asian LNG net imports declined by 2.8% to 172.8 Mt (-5Mt) mainly because of weather related factors, gas-fuel competiveness and the slowdown of economic growth. The bulk of the decline came from Japan and South Korea, the two biggest importers in the world: in these two countries, LNG net imports declined respectively to 85 Mt and 33.4 Mt which represents a combined decline of 7.2 Mt (-5.8 %). In a context of slowing economic growth and poor gas price competitiveness, Chinese demand dwindled by 0.9% to 19.7 Mt while LNG imports grew at an average annual rate of 20.1% from 2010 to 2014. Rising imports in Thailand (+ 1.3 Mt to 2.6 Mt) and Taiwan (+1.1 Mt to 14.6 Mt), as well as the beginning of imports in Pakistan (above 1 Mt) did not suffice to offset the regional decline.