Japan was the country that imported the most liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the global market last year with 76.9 million tons, according to latest report of the International Gas Union.
The highest demand for LNG in the global market last year came from Asian countries. Japan took the lead as the largest LNG importer for two successive years. In 2019, it was followed by China with 61.7 million tons and South Korea with about 40.1 million tons.
The report showed that global LNG trade reached 354.7 million tons, an increase of 13% compared to the previous year while marking the sixth year of consecutive growth.
The country that exported the most LNG last year was Qatar at 77.8 million tons and was followed by Australia with 75.4 million tons and the US with 33.8 million tons.
Turkey imported 9.4 million tonnes of LNG to take place tenth in the importers list. Two of Turkey's biggest LNG suppliers were Algeria, which ranked in ninth place on the biggest global exporter's list, and Nigeria, which came in sixth in the rankings.
Last year, a total of 22 countries exported LNG. Argentina, which launched two new plants and made its first cargo shipments in December 2019, was the last country to become an exporter.
- Australia: new leader in liquefaction
With regards to liquefaction capacity, Australia took first place for the first time relegating Qatar to second place.
Australia's annual natural gas liquefaction capacity reached 87.6 million tons and Qatar's capacity amounted to 77.1 million tons.
Another significant increase in liquefaction capacity in 2019 was observed in the US. New facilities put into operation added 23.35 million tons annually to US capacity to total 46.6 million tons.
Global liquefaction capacity was calculated as 430.5 million tons on an annual basis.
As the end of 2019, the total capacity of the liquefaction plants under construction was recorded as 124.6 million tons.
By Murat Temizer