Japan’s imports of liquefied natural gas reached 7.24 million mt in January, a drop of 14.1 percent as compared to the same month a year before.
The world’s largest buyer of chilled gas paid 349,845 million yen (US$3.7 billion) for imports in January, down 55.4 percent as compared to 2015, preliminary data from Japan’s Ministry of Finance showed on Thursday.
Japan imported 85.05 million mt of LNG in 2015, a drop of 3.9 percent as compared to the year before. This was the first drop in Japan’s annual LNG imports since the devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 which caused Japan to shut down its nuclear industry. As of February this year, Japan has restarted three nuclear reactors.
Japan paid $46.66 billion for LNG imports last year as global oil and gas prices fell, down 29.5 percent from $66.67 billion the country paid for imports in 2014.
Japan’s power utilities
LNG use by Japan’s ten independent regional electric power companies dropped 4 percent in January to 4.99 million mt.
According to the data from the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan (FEPC), January purchases by the ten utilities were at 4.62 million mt of LNG, down 12.8 percent from 2015.
Total electricity generated and purchased across the ten companies in January declined by 3.2 percent to 81.08 billion kWh, due to “decreased heating demands caused by relatively higher temperatures” in January than the previous year, FEPC said.
Spot LNG price
Japan’s price of spot liquefied natural gas contracted in January averaged $7.1 per mmBtu on DES basis, down 30 cents from the previous month.
The average LNG price for cargoes contracted last month in Japan was also the lowest since Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) started publishing monthly reports in March 2014.
According to METI, the average price of spot-LNG imported into Japan that arrived in January stood at $7.9 per mmBtu, a rise of 40 cents as compared to December.
LNG World News Staff