Japan imported 32.62mn tons of LNG in the first half of 2023, down 13% year-on-year, to leave it some 1mn tons below China as the world’s top importer. Japan was top for 2022 with 72.0mn tons versus China’s 63.8mn tons.

China’s lead has widened in recent months: for June Japan imported 4.53mn tons versus China’s 5.96mn tons. The IEA forecasts that China will pull further ahead in the second half of 2023 as continued restarts at Japanese nuclear plants cut into demand for the country’s key alternate power fuel (MEES, 21 July). (CONTINUED - 173 WORDS)