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Japan June LNG imports fall 10.3% to hit 5.55 million mt, lowest since May 2016

London — Japan's LNG imports dropped 10.3% year on year in June, hitting the lowest monthly volume in almost two years as supply from major producing countries such as Australia, Qatar and Malaysia fell, data from the Ministry of Finance showed Friday.

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June's imports came in at 5.55 million mt, the lowest since May 2016's 5.52 million mt.

Australia sent 1.68 million mt of LNG, 29.6% less than a year earlier.

Qatari imports fell 13.2% year on year to 756,846 mt while Malaysia supplied 677,337 mt, down 24.3%.

Globally, supply shrank in the second quarter due to unplanned countenances in Qatar, Malaysia and Brunei combined with a natural disaster in Papua New Guinea, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics.

Imports from Papua New Guinea have been recovering after the country was hit by a massive earthquake in late February. PNG volume rose 32.5% to 208,788 mt from May, but was still down 22.6% from a year earlier.

Japan imported 180,313 mt of LNG from the US.

According to S&P Global Platts ship-tracking software cFlow, the Golar Glacier and Maran Gas Alexandria delivered cargoes from Cove Point LNG to the Ohgishima terminal on June 6 and June 14, respectively.

The Maria Energy also delivered a cargo from Sabine Pass to Japan's Himeji terminal on June 14, according to cFlow.

The Japan Customs Cleared crude oil price was $76.344/b in June, rising 8.1% from May and soaring 46.2% year on year.

Japan's long-term LNG contracts are often linked to the JCC crude price, but with a lag of a few months, so fluctuations in oil prices typically take some time to feed through into LNG prices.

Jun-18 May-18 Jun-17 % chg on month % chg on year
Australia 1,683,320 2,391,712 2,391,709 -29.62 -29.62
Qatar 756,846 812,445 871,772 -6.84 -13.18
Malaysia 677,337 866,281 895,251 -21.81 -24.34
Russia 522,505 475,620 470,195 9.86 11.13
UAE 422,835 367,551 371,524 15.04 13.81
Brunei 391,071 294,497 325,485 32.79 20.15
Indonesia 387,983 254,312 400,134 52.56 -3.04
Oman 243,562 255,913 189,261 -4.83 28.69
Papua New Guinea 208,788 157,590 269,650 32.49 -22.57
US 180,313 209,704 - -14.02 NA
Nigeria 72,468 123,567 - -41.35 NA
Peru - 130,971 - -100.00 NA
Angola - 67,305 - -100.00 NA
Total 5,547,028 6,407,468 6,184,981 -13.43 -10.31
CIF PRICE
$/mt 508.50 500.96 431.86 1.51 17.75
Yen/mt 55,838 54,655 47,884 2.16 16.61
Exchange rate 109.81 109.10 110.88 0.65 -0.97
JCC price ($/b) 76.344 70.618 52.209 8.11 46.23

--Eriko Amaha, eriko.amaha@spglobal.com

--Edited by Jonathan Dart, jonathan.dart@spglobal.com