The US' liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports have declined by more than half so far this year, the country's Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a statement on Tuesday.
US LNG exports hit a record high level of 9.8 billion cubic feet (277.5 million cubic meters) per day in late March 2020, the EIA said. However, exports fell to less than 4 billion cubic feet (113.3 million cubic meters) per day in June, a decline of almost 60% in just three months, it added.
"Historically low natural gas and LNG spot prices in Europe and Asia have affected the economic viability of US LNG exports," the EIA said in its statement.
"A mild winter and COVID-19 mitigation efforts have led to declining global natural gas demand and high natural gas storage inventories in Europe and Asia, reducing the need for LNG imports," it added.
The EIA said that more than 70 cargoes were canceled for June and July deliveries, and more than 40 cargoes were canceled for August deliveries, but by comparison, trade press reports show that 74 cargoes were exported from the US in January.
In 2019, the US became the world’s third-largest LNG exporter after Qatar and Australia on an annual basis.
With additional liquefaction units to come online late this summer, the US' export capacity is estimated to reach a peak level of 10.1 billion cubic feet (286 million cubic meters) per day.
By Ovunc Kutlu