Photo: For illustration purposes only (Image: Tokyo Gas)

Japan’s monthly LNG imports continue to decline

Japan’s LNG imports declined in August for the second straight month with average prices dropping nearly 45 percent year-on-year.

Japan's LNG imports drop
For illustration purposes only (Image: Tokyo Gas)

The world’s largest importer of LNG received 5.84 million tonnes of the fuel last month, down 4.3 percent from a year earlier and representing the seventh monthly decline in volumes this year.

However, the LNG import decline is lower compared to last month’s 11.5 percent but also compared to August coal imports for power generation that also dropped.

Japan imported 7.90 million tonnes of coal last month, down 11 percent year-on-year, according to the provisional data released by Japan’s Ministry of Finance.

Furthermore, prices continued to decline and August LNG imports cost Japan about $1.82 billion, down almost 45 percent year-on-year.

To remind, Japan’s spot LNG prices also dropped sharply last month with the contract-based price at $3.4 per mmBtu and arrival-based price at $2.6 per mmBtu.

Looking at last month’s LNG shipments, deliveries from Asia from countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia increased by 10.7 percent to 1.23 million tonnes, the ministry’s data shows.

Middle East LNG shipments from sources like Qatar increased by 13.2 percent to 1 million tonnes.

Additionally, shipments from Russia rose 2 percent to 595,000 tonnes while US deliveries declined 21.4 percent to 271,000 tonnes.

In the January-August period, LNG imports dropped 6.3 percent to 48.24 million tonnes with the costs reaching about $21.83 billion.