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LNG exports from Australia's Gladstone port to China, Malaysia surge in Oct

http://www.chemnet.com   Nov 08,2018 S&P Global Platts
LNG exports from Australia's east coast to China and Malaysia surged in October while shipments to South Korea plunged and total volumes fell from the eight-month high seen in September, data released by the Gladstone Ports Corporation on Wednesday showed.

Exports of 1.32 million mt to China, which imports all its LNG from the three terminals at the Port of Gladstone in the state of Queensland, were up 17% year on year and 26% month on month. Shipments to China in October were the highest in a single month since January and the third highest since LNG exports began from the port in January 2015.
China beat South Korea to become the second-largest LNG buyer in the world last year, with imports crossing 36 million mt, Australia's chief economist said in the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science's Resources and Energy quarterly last month.

China's gas consumption was boosted by policies put in place to address air pollution, which saw it favor gas over coal. A key factor affecting China's future LNG demand will be the extent of competition from domestic gas production and gas imported through pipelines, it said.

"Imports are expected to be about 5 billion cubic metres in the first year of operation, reaching 38 Bcm in the sixth year," it said.

Malaysia-bound LNG from the Gladstone terminals - which include the Origin-ConocoPhillips Australia Pacific LNG, the Santos-led Gladstone LNG and Shell's Queensland Curtis LNG terminals - rose to an all-time high for the port at 186,000 mt, up 198% year on year and 49% from September, the data showed.

Exports to South Korea from Gladstone port, meanwhile, slumped to a 14-month low of just 119,872 mt, down 48% year on year and 64% month on month.

"The South Korean government took some of the country's older coal-fired power stations offline from March to June, in order to cut air pollution, and this likely boosted gas demand over this period," the chief economist said last month.

Exports to South Korea averaged 303,433 mt/month while the power stations were offline, the GPC data showed.

Gladstone's total LNG exports stood at 1.76 million mt during October, up 4% from a year earlier but down 1% from September, GPC said.

Over January-October, Gladstone port shipped out 16.88 million mt of LNG, which translates into an annualized rate of 20.27 million mt, almost steady from 20.21 million mt in 2017, it said.

The three terminals have a combined nameplate capacity of 25.3 million mt/year.

The only other country to be sent LNG from Gladstone in October was Japan at 134,203 mt, down 35% year on year but up 5% month on month, GPC data showed.
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