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LNG trade grew by 2.5% to a record 245mn tons in 2015. Australia gave the key output boost. More surprisingly, Egypt and Jordan took the extra volumes.
International LNG prices fell sharply in 2015 with demand in the three largest importing markets, Japan, South Korea and China falling by a collective 5% (MEES, 5 February 2016). With Australian output soaring by 25%, prices could easily have collapsed much further were it not for key buying support from a somewhat unlikely corner – the MENA region, and Egypt and Jordan in particular.
The MENA region’s thirst for gas, with local supplies struggling to keep pace, turned into one of the biggest LNG stories in 2015. The region was the “driving force” behind demand growth last year according to the latest statistics published by the Group of International LNG importers (GIIGNL). On the other hand, LNG supplies from the region fell by 4% to 105mn tons in 2015, a 43% global share down from 47% as recently as 2013 (see table).
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