China overtakes Japan as Australia’s top LNG export destination

China overtook Japan as Australia’s top LNG export destination in the fiscal year ending June 2021 with 29.8 million tonnes (39%) of Australian export volume, somewhat over 29.4 million tonnes (37%) recorded in the same period a year ago, EnergyQuest reported.

In the 11 months to May, Chinese liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports rose 20%, pushing Australia’s market share down to 41% from 46% a year earlier. However, with its fully contracted LNG projects and no new projects entering production, Australia is unable to actively participate in the growth of the Chinese market, the Australia-based energy consultancy said in its report. last report.

Political tensions between the two countries are also expected to limit Australia’s participation in the future growth of the Chinese market. At least two of China’s smaller LNG importers were urged in May to avoid buying new cargo from Australia, another example of the trade impact of deteriorating relations between the two countries.

China targets Australian LNG as trade dispute widens

Demand for LNG in China continues to grow and among major LNG suppliers, Qatar, along with Russia and African producers, is expected to benefit as China seeks to diversify its import mix which has become more reliant on the market. Australian LNG in recent years.

Qatar and Russia set to benefit from strong Chinese LNG demand

Meanwhile, Japanese imports fell to 28.0 million tonnes (37%) of Australian LNG export volume, from 30.5 million tonnes (38%) in the fiscal year ended June 2020. Japanese LNG imports increased 2% in the 11 months and with a smaller Australian
volumes, Australia’s market share increased from 21% to 19%, EnergyQuest said.

Korea remains Australia’s third most popular export destination, importing 8.0 million tonnes for the fiscal year ending June 2021, up from 8.9 million tonnes in 2020.

EnergyQuest estimates that Australia exported 77.2 million tonnes of LNG in the 12 months to June 30, 2021, less than 79.5 million tonnes in fiscal 2020, but only 0.8 million tonnes less than exports of 78.0 million tonnes for full year 2020. “This is a good result given the ongoing maintenance required at Gorgon to repair cracks in cooling kettles, production issues at Prelude , Ichthys and Wheatstone, the reduction in field supply to the NWS and disruption related to COVID-19, “the consulting firm said.

Growing demand will see China become the world’s largest importer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) this year, stealing the crown from Japan.

China to become the world’s largest LNG importer in 2021

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