*Global number three LNG importer Korea took 40.9mn tons in 2019, down almost 8% on 2018’s record 44.3mn t but still the second highest figure on record (see chart and table). As recently as mid-2017 Korea was ahead of China as global number two, but China has since surged ahead – its 2019 volumes of 61.4mn tons are 50% ahead of Korea (MEES, 10 January).
*Within the four key East Asian importers, Australia has long since supplanted Qatar as top suppler to global number one Japan and number two China. In Taiwan (global No.5 behind India) Qatar only just held on ahead of Australia for 2019 as a whole but the Aussies surged ahead for Q4 (MEES, 10 January). For Korea, Qatar’s top position looks a bit more secure, but not that much. (CONTINUED - 322 WORDS)