According to data from commodity analysts Kpler, Asia’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports declined in April, mainly due to reduced purchases by major buyers China and Japan, offsetting small gains among South Asian countries.
The total volume of imported LNG was 20.86 million tonnes, down from March’s 22.23 million and February’s 22.19 million.
On the other hand, Europe’s LNG imports rose for the third consecutive month in April, reaching 12.50 million tonnes, the highest since December. The rise in demand has been attributed to the curtailment of pipeline supplies from Russia following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February last year.
Although the current healthy state of European gas inventories raises the possibility of LNG imports steadying or dropping in the coming months, Asian countries such as India and Pakistan may ramp up their imports as price-sensitive buyers amid declining spot prices.
The spot price of LNG for delivery to north Asia was at $11.05 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) in the week to April 28, the lowest since June 2021.
Despite the considerable drop in the spot price from its peak, which is down 71% since its northern winter peak of $38 per mmBtu in mid-December, it’s still at the upper end of the $1.80 to $11.60 per mmBtu range that persisted from the start of 2015 to December 2020.
The article notes that although the current price may be low enough to attract buyers that had withdrawn from the market during last year’s surge, it’s still not considered a bargain.
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