Global Gas: Asian LNG imports curb Europe's receipts
London, 28 September (Argus) — Another increase in Asia-Pacific LNG receipts contributed to northwest Europe's LNG imports continuing to stagnate in August.
LNG imports in Asia-Pacific — including China, Japan, South Korea, India, Pakistan and Thailand — in August rose to the highest for a summer month at 41.3mn m³, up from 37.4mn m³ a year earlier.
Monthly deliveries have only previously been higher in December 2016-March 2017.
The increase was again driven by China and South Korea.
Cumulative Asia-Pacific imports were 326mn m³ in January-August, over 44mn m³ higher than a year earlier. This is equivalent to almost 27mn t/yr.
China accounted for 20.8mn m³ of the increase, while South Korea receipts rose by 11mn m³.
The strong regional demand growth has prevented an increase in LNG deliveries to northwest Europe, even with new global liquefaction capacity starting up.
European receipts have edged up this summer, but driven entirely by Spain, Portugal and Italy.
Strong demand in southern Europe because of low hydroelectric stocks boosted LNG receipts. The PSV and PVB front-month markets were competitive with northeast Asian LNG prices for much of the summer, encouraging higher imports.
Northwest Europe's imports of 2.46mn m³ — judging by vessel size — were up slightly from 2.33mn m³ a year earlier. This includes the UK, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.
And receipts in January-August of 23.4mn m³ were only slightly above the 23.2mn m³ imported a year earlier, almost entirely driven by higher deliveries to France.
High Egyptian LNG demand — despite a slight fall this summer — also helped prevent a wave of LNG reaching Europe.
Change in imports in Jan-August from a year earlier mn m³ of LNG
Deliveries to Turkey and the new importers mn m³ of LNG
Change in imports in Jan-Aug from a year earlier mn m³ of LNG
Change in imports in August from a year earlier mn m³ of LNG
Asian LNG imports, excluding Pakistan mn m³ of LNG
Spain and Italy drive Europe's LNG sendout GWh/d