Latest official LNG import data from key Asian buyers and more recent figures from data intelligence firm Kpler show regional LNG imports remaining weak ahead of the key winter demand season. Collective buying by the top five Asian importers – China, Japan, South Korea, India and Taiwan – of 51.9mn tons for Q3 marked the lowest figure for the quarter since 2017, with imports remaining weak for October according to the latest Kpler data.
Of the big five buyers, only China and India took more for Q3 versus year-ago levels, whilst Japan and South Korea notched up hefty year-on-year falls. This leaves total regional imports for the first 10 months of 2023 at 182mn tons, down 2mn tons year-on-year with 2023 on track to see the lowest regional import total since 2019 (see charts 1 & 2). (CONTINUED - 1486 WORDS)