Global LNG trade to rise 11% this year: Shell report

Global liquified natural gas (LNG) trade will increase by 11% to 354 million tonnes (Mt) this year as new facilities come online and increase supplies to Europe and Asia.

The figures were contained in an annual report published by Royal Dutch Shell – the largest buyer and seller of LNG in the world. The oil and gas giant said trade rose by 27 Mt last year, with Chinese demand growth accounting for 16 Mt alone.

China has become the world’s second largest buyer of LNG since a 2017 government-mandated push for power stations to switch from coal to cleaner-burning gas was enacted, to tackle the nation’s severe pollution issues. Japan remains the world’s largest buyer of LNG.

New production facilities opening in Australia, the US, Russia and more countries are set to meet increasing demand global demand for LNG, which has been forecasted to rise to 384 Mt in 2020, according to Shell.

However, many analysts see the global market becoming oversupplied if not this year then next year, due to the uneven progress of developing liquefaction-export facilities and regasification-import terminals.

Having said that, analysts have also forecasted a supply crunch around the mid-2020s due to an insufficient number of liquefaction facilities being planned, financed and built at the moment.