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    • Chinese 2020 imports to fall to 58.1m tonnes, down 5.2% year on year
    • Japanese 2020 imports to fall to 76.2m tonnes, down 1.1% year on year
    • South Korean 2020 imports to fall to 38.5m tonnes, 4.7% down year on year
    • LNG demand in 2020 from the world’s three largest importers is now set to fall year on year, ICIS forecast today.

LNG demand destruction, caused by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, will cause imports to be lower in China, Japan and South Korea this year, compared to 2019.

“The forecast weakness in over the half of the world’s LNG import market for 2020 will only exacerbate the current oversupply and keep pressure on key natural gas and LNG prices,” said ICIS LNG Analyst Tom Marzec-Manser.

“While Japan and South Korea have been contracting as LNG markets for a few years, a shrinking Chinese market will cause major headaches for those producers looking to find demand for their increasing output.”

Noticeably lower macroeconomic indicators have driven much of the downward revision from ICIS, which updates its LNG demand forecasts monthly and in response to market moving developments.

Chinese LNG demand for 2020 is forecast at 58.1m tonnes, a drop of 3.2m tonnes on cargo arrivals in 2019. In the first three months of 2020 imports have already fallen 4.6% compared to the same period a year earlier. ICIS expects further declines over the year as gas inventories fill.

The world’s largest importer, Japan, is now forecast to receive 76.2m tonnes of LNG in 2020, down from 77.1m tonnes in 2019. During Q1 ’20, the country’s LNG imports were already down 2.6% year on year at 21.6m tonnes indicating a revival later in the year.

ICIS forecasts South Korean LNG imports this year will fall by 1.9m tonnes to 38.5m tonnes. While imports over the opening three months of the year have been sharply higher than a year earlier, this was largely driven by environmental policies that will have little impact over the rest of the year.

In 2019, China, Japan and South Korea collectively imported 179m tonnes of LNG, which was 51% of the 354mt tonnes that was imported globally.

ICIS’ LNG demand forecast covers the rolling 24-month horizon, on a monthly granularity.

Source: ICIS


About ICIS

ICISICIS is a trusted source of global commodity intelligence for the energy, chemical and fertilizer industry. We are a division of RELX, a FTSE 15 company with a market cap of £39.3 billion and an employee base of over 30,000 experts across 40 countries.

At ICIS, we help businesses make strategic decisions, mitigate risk, improve productivity, and capitalise on new opportunities. We make some of the world’s most important markets more trusted and predictable by providing data services, thought leadership and decision tools. As a result of our unmatched global presence, we can deliver targeted connected intelligence to influence thousands of decisions across supply chains every single day. We shape the world by connecting markets to optimise the world’s valuable resources. With a global team of more than 600 experts, ICIS has employees based in London, New York, Houston, Karlsruhe, Milan, Mumbai, Singapore, Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, Dubai, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Tokyo, and Perth.


About RELX

RELX GroupRELX Group is a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. The Group serves customers in more than 180 countries and has offices in about 40 countries. It employs over 30,000 people, of whom almost half are in North America. The shares of RELX PLC, the parent company, are traded on the London, Amsterdam and New York Stock Exchanges using the following ticker symbols: London: REL; Amsterdam: REN; New York: RELX. The market capitalisation is approximately £39.3bn, €45.7bn, $54bn.


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