Photo: Illustration purposes only (Image courtesy of Tokyo Gas)

EnergyQuest: Japan remains Australian LNG top importer

Japan still remains the largest importer of Australian LNG volumes, the latest monthly report by the energy consultancy EnergyQuest shows.

According to the consultancy, during FY 2019, Japan imported 29.5 million tons of Australian LNG, 39 percent of the country’s total exports.

Ninety-five percent of Japanese imports from Australia come from Western Australia or the Northern Territory.

The average landed price of Australian LNG in Japan in FY 2019 was A$14.25/GJ (prior to regasification and pipeline costs), well above Australian domestic prices.

China, the second-largest buyer, is closing the gap to Japan, buying 27.2 Mt last year, or 36 percent of Australian LNG exports. Australia supplied 46 percent of Chinese LNG in FY 2019 and remains the biggest supplier to China.

Fifty-seven percent of Australian LNG exports to China in FY 2019 came from Queensland. Chinese companies have made huge investments in Queensland LNG and Queensland alone supplied a massive 27 percent of all China’s LNG imports.

Korea is becoming an increasingly important customer for Australian LNG exports. It commanded 10 percent of total Australian exports in FY 2019.

However, the concentration of Australian LNG trade in North Asia is both a strength and weakness, EnergyQuest noted. A strength as North Asia is the world’s largest and fastest-growing LNG market. A weakness from lack of diversification and the risks this involves.