The Strategist

Japan ramps up LNG imports ahead of summer heatwave

05/23/2024 - 06:40

According to the Ministry of Finance, Japan, the second-largest consumer of liquefied natural gas worldwide, imported 5.285 million tonnes of LNG (7.21 billion cubic meters after regasification) in April 2024, an increase of 17% over the same month the previous year. The sharp spike in buying came after three months of declining imports.

Ken Hodge
Ken Hodge
Uneven shipment receipts between months are a common feature of LNG imports, which are shipped aboard in gas tankers. The amount shipped has decreased by 2% to 22.969 million tons since the year's commencement.

After reaching $470 in March, the average cost of imported gas in April was $423 per thousand cubic meters.

Japan began replenishing its commercial LNG reserves following the conclusion of the winter quarter. They rose by 130 thousand tons in April, roughly matching the dynamics of the previous year (110 thousand tonnes). In May 2023, however, they fell by thirty thousand tons after adding an additional 650 thousand tonnes during the preceding two decades. There is yet another peak in demand coming up during the hot summer months, when gas reserves are consumed rather than formed.