Australia overtook Qatar as the collective top supplier to the world’s top three LNG importers, Japan, South Korea and China in the first half of 2016. Australia’s overall 24.0% market share is up from 16.9% a year earlier, whilst Qatar’s share has slid from 23.9% to 19.7% over the same period (see chart 1). However, amid mixed demand signals in core East Asian markets, Qatar is putting its mark on alternative markets where demand is growing as lower prices have fueled more appetite for LNG.

Whilst Australia has long been top supplier to Japan, it also overtook Qatar as China’s top provider last year, and pulled further ahead in the first half of 2016. For Korea, Qatar remains top dog for now, with an impressive 31.7% market share in the first half of 2016. But here as well Australia is making rapid inroads: volumes of 2.28mn tons for H1 16 are almost three times year-ago levels (see MEES, 22 July for full H1 16 Korean data). (CONTINUED - 1748 WORDS)