Insights into Global LNG Trade Flows

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Global LNG exports were approximately 34 million tons in January 2019, loaded onto 500 vessels, while 35 million tons arrived at import terminals on 521 vessels.

LNG imports into Northeast Asia in January remained on par with December 2018, but volumes were 12 percent higher than in January 2018. Of note, South Asian region imports dropped slightly on the prior month, while ship-to-ship transfers (STS) at Honningsvag in Norway continue to go from strength to strength: they totaled 1.5 million tons last month, a 19 percent increase from the month prior. 


Exports to the Asia Pacific region increased by 15 percent year-on-year, although volumes dropped 4 percent in January month-on-month due to supply issues at the Gorgon LNG and Bontang LNG projects. Middle East exports increased by 4 percent from December 2018 to 9 million tons, while US exports remain in line with December levels at 2.4 million tons. Northern Russia projects loaded a total of 1.45 million tons. Higher loadings from Russia translated into increased activity at the Honninsvag STS point.


LNG export terminal utilization based upon ClipperData shipping tracking is given below:

LNG exports KA

There was a delay in customs data in December, but is shows that India imported 28 cargoes in December and 25 in January, with Petronet LNG Terminal receiving the highest number of cargoes with 19 vessels for both months. Supply from the Middle East remained high, with West Africa and Australian LNG cargoes also reaching Indian terminals. In term of prices, there were three cargoes which were outliers — two bought by IOCL and one from BPCL — suggesting prices were locked in earlier.

Pakistan imported nine LNG cargoes in January, with three cargoes bought by Pakistan LNG and six cargoes by Pakistan State Oil. All cargoes were booked on long-term contractual prices signed by both companies.