Evolution of global natural gas net exports

Natural Gas Trade statistics

Natural Gas Trade statistics by country

While some regions are well endowed in terms of gas reserves and produce more gas than they consume, others have to import a significant share of their gas consumption. The two main importing regions are Europe and Asia. In 2019, Europe imported more than 330 bcm of natural gas (net imports), representing 60% of its consumption and Asia imported close to 200 bcm, amounting to around 23% of the regional demand. Therefore, natural gas trade is essential in order to balance global gas markets.

CEDIGAZ’s natural gas trade databases gives the analysts a complete view of the global natural gas trade by providing bilateral gas trade flow statistic for every gas importing and exporting country in the world. The annual gas trade statistics database covers natural gas flows between countries by both pipelines and LNG tankers.

For analysts with a special interest in LNG trade, CEDIGAZ also provides monthly LNG import data by importing country and country of origin and, when available, also provides average LNG import prices by country of origin. Sources include customs data, shipping data and, for European countries, LNG import terminals data.

Databases: Annual Natural Gas Country Indicators, Annual Pipeline Gas and LNG flows by country, Monthly LNG Trade Statistics

International natural gas trade in the world – Main trends in 2019

International natural gas trade (including LNG-re-exports) increased by 4.3% to 1255 bcm in 2018, accounting for a third of global gas supply, compared to 30% five years ago.

This expansion was driven by LNG trade (+ 9%), while the growth of pipeline trade slowed to 1.9%.

Excluding LNG re-exports, international trade rose 4.1% to 1250 bcm, on a par with the five year average (+ 4%/year).

Total intraregional trade grew by 2.2% to 704 bcm, as a result of expanding intra-Asian LNG flows (Australia’s supply ramp-up).

Like the previous year, interregional* (long-distance) trade surged 7% to 551 bcm, boosted by LNG deliveries to Asia, and, to a lesser extent, Europe’s gas and LNG imports from Russia.

Net interregional gas imports in Asia surged by 21% to 201 bcm, while they increased by 4% to 314 bcm in Europe.

Evolution of global natural gas net imports

The share of Asia in total net international import flows has surged steadily from 35% in 2016 to 37% in 2017 and 40% in 2018, while that of Europe declined 2 points to 44% in 2018.

Russia bolstered its standing as the largest gas exporter, accounting for 24% of total net exports flows in 2018 (23% in 2017), followed by Qatar (13%), Norway (12%) and Australia (9%).

China overtook Japan to become the largest importer, with 13% of international net imports, followed by Japan (12%) and Germany (9%).

LNG supply soared 8.7% to 415 bcm in 2018, marking the third largest annual increase behind 2010 and 2017.

LNG’s share in total trade increased to an all-time high of 33%, from 32% in 2017.

*Total flows between the seven CEDIGAZ regions (North America, South & Central America, Europe, CIS, Africa, Middle East, Asia Oceania), not including trade within CEDIGAZ regions.