Korea LNG Buying Falls To 7-Yr Low In Q4

• LNG imports by world #2 buyer fell to the lowest quarterly level in seven years in the third quarter. Whilst demand is typically weak in the third quarter, this year it was exceptionally so. Volumes of 6.12mn tons are down by 12% on year ago levels.

For the first nine months of 2016 volumes are down by a more modest 1.3% on January-September 2015, but 12% down on 2014’s record levels of 27.20mn tons.

• Low Q2 and Q3 buying came after a mild 2015-16 winter left stocks unusually high. However a late-summer heatwave in August led to a surge in aircon use, diminishing stocks. This has led to a recent surge in buying: Q4 imports are not only set to be well up on Q3, as they always are, they may well be enough to take the overall 2016 figure above that for 2015 (see graph). Meanwhile nuclear reactors have been shuttered as a precaution due to earthquakes in September, further boosting gas demand. (CONTINUED - 409 WORDS)


table South Korea 3Q16 Lng Imports