The Global LNG Market in 2015: Q1 First Estimates and Outlook

In 2014, the LNG year was somehow a replica of the previous one as it was characterized by rising Asian demand, decreasing European demand and a high price differential between the two biggest LNG markets. In 2015, as the trade data of Q1 show, the dynamics are likely to be different. First data show that the pressure on the Asian market is falling due to lower demand and growing production in the Pacific basin. In addition, gross imports are increasing in Europe while the re-export business is collapsing. Elsewhere in the world, the LNG industry continues to develop, as new projects keep coming on stream.

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CEDIGAZ’s Monthly LNG Trade Bulletin of May 2015

This blog post analyses the main findings of the LNG Monthly Bulletin. The LNG Monthly Bulletin provides monthly traded volumes and prices by importer and country of origin, it is part of the LNG Service by Cedigaz.

Asian LNG market is easing

Asian LNG market is easingIn Asia, LNG purchases of the regional top-3 buyers (Japan, South Korea and China) decreased by 5.5% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2015. Imports fell from 42 million tons to 39.7 million tons, pulled by a 19% drop in South Korea (-2.4 million tons) where higher inventories and another mild winter pushed imports down. Lower demand for natural gas was highlighted by the drop in KOGAS’ domestic sales (-7.6%), mainly due to a fall in sales to the power sector (-14.3%).

In China, imports declined by 8.6% from 5.6 million tons to 5.1 million tons while in Japan, LNG purchases grew slightly from 23.7 million tons in Q1 2014 to 24.3 million tons in Q1 2015, even though mild temperatures cut total power demand.

CEDIGAZ’s Monthly LNG Trade Bulletin of April 2015

In Asia, LNG prices are declining

Asian LNG imports and pricesIn Asia, LNG imports decreased in February, as they did last year at the same period. China, Japan and South Korea imported 12.5 million tons compared to 14.7 million tons in January 2015. February year-on-year demand in these countries fell by 5.1% overall: the drop was pulled by a 25.6% decline in South Korean imports while Chinese’s grew by 10.9% and Japanese’s by 2.9%. As a consequence of the easing on Asian markets and the fall in oil prices, import prices continued to dwindle: they reached $13.3/mmbtu in Japan (including trades below $10/mmbtu), $10.4/mmbtu in China and $13.5 in South Korea. February prices represented a 20% year-on-year drop in Japan and South Korea and a fall of 11% in China.