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The three East Asian countries which are by far the top three global LNG importers – Japan, China and South Korea – imported a collective 159.6mn tons in 2017, up almost 12% on 2016 with Chinese buying rising by a whopping 46%, in the process overtaking Korea for global #2 spot.
These three countries alone accounted for 55% of the global LNG market, which Shell, in its ‘LNG Outlook 2018’, released 26 February, pegs at 293mn tons for 2017. Add in numbers four and five India and Taiwan, and these five Asian countries account for two-thirds of global demand. Their collective 19.5mn tons jump in 2017 imports is also two-thirds of the 29mn tons (10%) growth in the global market: China alone accounted for 42% of global growth.
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