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Business Last Updated: Feb 2, 2024 - 2:11:51 PM

US Consolidates Its Leading Position as World’s Largest LNG Exporter
By Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News 02/12/2023
Dec 3, 2023 - 11:21:44 AM

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The US has edged ahead of the rest, as the world’s largest LNG exporter during the first 10 months of October. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Banchero Costa said that “global seaborne LNG trade has continued to surge last year, helped also by the events in Ukraine which forced Europe to diversify away from Russian pipeline gas. In the full 12 months of 2022, global shipments of LNG increased by +4.9% y-o-y to 404.1 mln t, based on Refinitiv vessel tracking data. This year, things started very strongly in the first quarter, but then slowed down somewhat over the spring and summer”. 

According to Banchero Costa, “in the first 10 months of 2023, LNG shipments increased by +1.4% y-o-y to 338.2 mln tonnes, from 333.5 mln tonnes in the same period last year. The largest exporter of LNG is now the USA, which accounted for 21.4% of shipments in the first 10 months of 2023, followed by Australia with 19.8% and Qatar with 19.3%. Australia shipped 67.0 mln tonnes in Jan-Oct 2023, -0.5% y-o-y. Qatar exported 65.4 mln tonnes in Jan-Oct 2023, -1.3% y-o-y. Russia shipped 25.0 mln tonnes in the same period, down -8.0% y-o-y from the same period in 2022, but still above any year up to 2021”.

The shipbroker said that “the European Union imported 84.5 mln tonnes of LNG in Jan-Oct 2023, up +3.4% y-o-y, accounting for 25.4% of global LNG imports. Mainland China imported 56.3 mln tonnes of LNG in Jan-Oct 2023, +10.4% y-o-y from 51.0 mln t in JanOct 2022, but below the 64.9 mln t in Jan-Oct 2021. The USA are now emerging at the forefront of global LNG exports. In 2022, the United States were the third largest exporter of LNG after Australia and Qatar, with a 19.7% share of global export volumes. In the full 12 months of 2022, the USA exported 79.4 mln tonnes of LNG, which represented a +9.6% y-oy increase from the 72.5 mln tonnes shipped in 2021. Volumes have been going up exponentially for many years now. In 2021, exports from the USA increased by a massive +50.3% y-o-y, whilst in 2020 growth was +31.8% yo-y, in 2019 it was +66.3% y-o-y, and in 2018 it was +54.1% y-o-y. In the first 10 months of 2023, the USA exported 72.4 mln tonnes of LNG, which was a +9.7% y-o-y increase, enough to make the USA the number one exporter in the world, ahead of the 67.0 mln tonnes shipped from Australia in the same period”.

“In terms of destinations for American LNG, the main routes are now transatlantic to the EU and UK. In Jan-Dec 2022, LNG exports from the USA to the European Union increased by +138.2% y-o-y to 41.6 mln tonnes from 17.5 mln t in 2021. In Jan-Oct 2023, the USA shipped 38.8 mln tonnes of LNG to the EU, up +8.9% y-o-y from 35.6 mln tonnes in the same period of 2022. The EU is now the destination for 53.5% of the USA’s total LNG exports in Jan-Oct 2023. Volumes to the UK also surged by +137.8% y-o-y in 9.4 mln tonnes in 2022, from 4.0 mln t in 2021. In Jan-Oct 2023, the USA exported 6.8 mln t of LNG to the UK, +7.8% yo-y from 6.3 mln t in the same period of 2022. The UK is now the destination for 9.4% of US LNG shipments this year. The third top destination after the EU and the UK is South Korea, which accounted for 7.3% of USA LNG shipments in Jan-Dec 2022. Shipments from the USA to South Korea declined by -35.2% y-o-y last year to 5.8 mln tonnes. In Jan-Oct 2023, shipments to South Korea declined further by -18.6% yo-y to 4.1 mln t. Exports to Japan also declined in 2022, by -41.9% y-o-y to 4.2 mln tonnes, but rebounded by +51.2% yo-y in Jan-Oct 2023 to 4.9 mln t. Shipments to Mainland China also crashed by -79.2% y-o-y in Jan-Dec 2022 to 1.8 mln tonnes, from an exceptional (and unsustainable) 8.8 mln tonnes in 2021, but increased to 2.4 mln t in Jan-Oct 2023, up +73.1% y-o-y”, Banchero Costa concluded.

Source:Ocnus.net 2023

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