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Japan's Feb LNG imports rise 7% on year, Indonesian volume jumps 47%

Tokyo (Platts)--2 Apr 2018 349 am EDT/749 GMT


Japan's LNG imports rose 6.5% from a year ago to 8.3 million mt in February, with higher volumes from Australia and Indonesia, Ministry of Finance data released last Thursday showed.

For the three months to February, during which Japan experienced a colder-than-normal winter, an increase in year-on-year supplies from Asian projects in Brunei, Indonesia, Australia and Papua New Guinea fulfilled Japan's additional demand. Volumes from Qatar and Europe dropped year on year, with US supply largely unchanged from a year ago at around five cargoes, according to the ministry's data.

In February, Australia was the largest supplier, sending 2.7 million mt, up 24.9% from a year ago, while Malaysia came in second, but its volume fell 9%.

Indonesia stepped up, as its LNG exports to Japan surged 46.6% year on year to 785,112 mt in February.

Japan received a couple of reload cargoes delivered from Singapore and the Netherlands in February.

The Stena Blue Sky delivered a cargo from Singapore to Jera's Futtsu terminal on February 3, according to S&P Global Platts trade flow software cFlow.

A cargo from the Netherlands, of 70,707 mt, was shipped to Japan. According to cFlow, the Pskov delivered a cargo to from Rotterdam to Japan's Oita terminal on January 30, but it was included in February import statistics.

The Japan Customs Cleared crude oil price was $68.237/b in February, up 23.5% from a year earlier and 5.7% higher from the previous month.

Some of Japan's long-term LNG contracts are linked to the JCC crude price, but with a lag of a few months, so fluctuations in oil prices typically take some time to be reflected in LNG prices. --Eriko Amaha, eriko.amaha@spglobal.com

--Edited by Geetha Narayanasamy, geetha.narayanasamy@spglobal.com




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