The world’s top five LNG importers – Japan, China, South Korea, India and Taiwan – collectively took 218.3mn tons in 2019, down by 0.8% (almost 2mn tons) on 2018’s record 220.2mn tons and the first year-on-year fall since 2015 (see chart 1).

A 12.8% (6.9mn tons) gain in Chinese buying to a new record of 60.7mn tons for 2019 was insufficient to make up for hefty falls of 6.7% (5.5mn tons) in Japan imports and 7.7% (3.4mn tons) for Korea. India and Taiwan each saw slight rises of less than 1%, albeit to new annual highs of 20.4mn and 17.0mn tons respectively. (CONTINUED - 2003 WORDS)