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Australian LNG exports to China hit record

An LNG tanker on the move in Southeast Asia.
An LNG tanker on the move in Southeast Asia.

Australian exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to China hit a new record for the full year ending June 2021 despite increased trade tensions between the two nations.

Australia exported a record 30.7 million tonnes of LNG to China, worth an estimated A$15.6 billion, EnergyQuest said in its latest report released today. Deliveries from Australia were up 7.3% from the previous record of 28.6 million tonnes posted in the full year ending June 2020, according to import statistics.

China has now overtaken Japan as Australia’s largest LNG customer, said EnergyQuest.

Australian LNG exports to China of 30.7 million tonnes (Mt) were much higher than disclosed contracts of 19.4 million tonnes, reported EnergyQuest. “The projects with China contracts are NWS, Gorgon, QCLNG and APLNG. All except Gorgon supplied above their contracts. Also, every other Australian LNG project supplied cargoes to Chinese buyers, even without explicit China contracts. The additional supplies are from portfolio volumes and spot sales. For example, QCLNG has China contracts of 3.6 Mtpa but supplied 6.9 Mt to China in FY 2021, with the additional volumes coming from Shell’s portfolio contracts. GLNG has no China contracts but delivered 1.1 Mt to China, most likely from Petronas’s portfolio,” said the Australian-based consultancy.

China imported a total of 76.1 Mt for the 12 months to June 2021 compared with 63.6 Mt for the previous 12 months, a rise of 19.6% year-on-year (yoy), said EnergyQuest. Import prices were down 15% averaging US$6.87/MMBtu compared with US$8.12/MMBtu for the previous 12 months. Average Australian prices fell 20% to US$6.66/MMBtu from US$8.30/MMBtu for the previous year. The total landed value of Australian LNG imports in FY 2021 was US$10.6 billion (A$15.6 billion), down from US$12.3 billion (A$18.8 billion) the year before, added the consultancy.

China is soon expected to become the world’s largest LNG buyer, replacing Japan, said EnergyQuest.

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