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Qatar LNG to South Asia up near 50% year on year in H1 2016

* South Asian receipts over 7 million mt in H1
* Middle East H1 receipts up over 200% on year
* Lower East Asian demand, production hike compensate

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The amount of LNG volume delivered to South Asia (India, Pakistan) from Qatar during the first half of the year climbed almost 50% year on year, taking advantage of weaker demand from East Asia (Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, China) and higher Qatari output, data from Eclipse Energy, an analytics unit of S&P Global Platts, showed Tuesday.

Qatari LNG volume deliveries to South Asia hit 7,138,785 mt during January-June, up 46% in comparison with the first six months of last year.

Increases in deliveries from the world's largest LNG-exporting country were split between India and Pakistan at 6,045,886 mt and 1,092,899 mt respectively for the first six months of 2016.

Article Continues below...

In India, this was largely driven by a reworked supply contract between Petronet, the country's largest gas importer, and Qatar's Rasgas.

In December last year, the two companies renegotiated an existing 25-year supply deal for the delivery of 7.5 million mt/year after Petronet lifted 30- 32% below its contractually levels to September 2015, as previously reported by Platts.

Under the revised agreement, contracted volumes not taken in 2015 would need to be bought during the remaining term of the contract, and an additional 1 million mt/year was added to the total contract volume going forward.

Similarly, the uptick in deliveries to Pakistan was attributable to a new 15-year agreement with Qatargas for up to 3.75 million mt/year with was singed in February.

Deliveries from the contract started in March 2016, when there was a noticeable increase in Qatari deliveries to an average of three cargoes a month, up from an average of one cargo per month for the equivalent period last year.

Receipts into the Middle East (Dubai, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt) climbed by a similar amount between H1 2015 and H1 2016 (2,142,161 mt), resulting in a robust 202% annual increase.

This was mainly driven by increased deliveries to Egypt, which received two FSRUs over the course of 2015, allowing it to rapidly increase its imports, sourced through a combination of tenders and bilateral agreements.

The first FSRU was delivered in April 2015.

The second was delivered in October the same year, and was followed by an increase in average monthly deliveries from roughly two per month from April to October to subsequent average of approximately four cargoes per month.

The increase in Qatari LNG volume deliveries to South Asia and the Middle East were countered by weaker East Asian demand.

East Asian demand for Qatari LNG fell 13% year on year, dropping almost 3 million mt from 20,916,909 mt in H1 2015 to 18,115,559 mt in H1 2016. This was due to relatively milder weather in the region over the past year, resulting in both lower demand during the peak periods of winter and summer .

Meanwhile, in Europe (Turkey, Italy, Spain, France, Netherlands, UK, Poland) Qatari imports were broadly unchanged from H1 2015 at 8,515,373 mt, while H1 2016 exports to South America (Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile) fell 33% compared with H1 2015 to 650,540 mt.

Total Qatari LNG exports rose 3% in H1 2016 relative to H1 2015 to 37,624,564 mt.

--Gary Hornby, gary.hornby@spglobal.com
--Luke Stobbard, luke.stobbard@spglobal.com
--Edited by Maurice Geller, maurice.geller@spglobal.com