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Japan June LNG imports fall 10.3% to hit 5.55 million mt, lowest since May 2016

Japan’s LNG imports dropped 10.3% year on year in June, hitting the lowest monthly volume in almost two years as supply from major producing countries such as Australia, Qatar and Malaysia fell, data from the Ministry of Finance showed.

June’s imports came in at 5.55 million mt, the lowest since May 2016’s 5.52 million mt.
Australia sent 1.68 million mt of LNG, 29.6% less than a year earlier.

Qatari imports fell 13.2% year on year to 756,846 mt while Malaysia supplied 677,337 mt, down 24.3%.

Globally, supply shrank in the second quarter due to unplanned countenances in Qatar, Malaysia and Brunei combined with a natural disaster in Papua New Guinea, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics.

Imports from Papua New Guinea have been recovering after the country was hit by a massive earthquake in late February. PNG volume rose 32.5% to 208,788 mt from May, but was still down 22.6% from a year earlier.

Japan imported 180,313 mt of LNG from the US.

According to S&P Global Platts ship-tracking software cFlow, the Golar Glacier and Maran Gas Alexandria delivered cargoes from Cove Point LNG to the Ohgishima terminal on June 6 and June 14, respectively.

The Maria Energy also delivered a cargo from Sabine Pass to Japan’s Himeji terminal on June 14, according to cFlow.

The Japan Customs Cleared crude oil price was $76.344/b in June, rising 8.1% from May and soaring 46.2% year on year.

Japan’s long-term LNG contracts are often linked to the JCC crude price, but with a lag of a few months, so fluctuations in oil prices typically take some time to feed through into LNG prices.

Source: Platts

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