The photo is sourced from «K» Line
At last year end, both countries showed the decrease of LNG imports: Japan – by 3% (i.e., 3 bcm), and China – by 15.2% (i.e., 16.7 bcm). The key driver was the European consumers refocusing on LNG: at the end of 2022, the imports of liquified natural gas to Europe grew by 58% (up to 170.2 bcm), while as “external” pipeline gas supplies (without account of volumes from Norway, Great Britain and the Netherlands) decreased by 35% (i.e., down to 150.8 bcm). It resulted in the LNG share in the mix of external gas imports to Europe in 2022 growing from 32% to 53%, for the first time exceeding the volumes supplied via pipeline (which during the same period fell from 68% down to 47%).
This re-focus of Europe resulted in the growing competition among the consumers for the possibilities of imports build-up, and eventually – in the surge of prices. The average gas price at the main European hub TTF grew from $573 up to $1,342 per kcm, and JKM index reflecting the spot prices dynamics in Japan and South Korea – from $666 up to $1,216 kcm.
This had a negative impact on the accessibility of gas for the developing economies: LNG imports to India decreased by 15.4% (down to 28.4 bcm), to Pakistan – by 20.6% (down to 9.7 bcm), and to the Asian-Pacific Region in general – by 6.5% (down to 347.9 bcm). The central and Latin America countries also decreased their imports: Argentina decreased its LNG imports by 38.8% (down to 2.3 bcm), Brazil – by 77.2% (down to 2.3 bcm), Chile – by 25.1% (down to 3.3 bcm), and all other countries in the region – by 9.1% (down to 5.5 bcm).
Such decrease of gas accessibility impacted the dynamics of gas-fired generation in the developing economies. Electricity generation fueled by natural gas in APR by the end of 2022 decreased by 1.3%, down to 1,474 TW*h), and in Central and Latin America – by 16.6% (down to 237 TW*h). the overall demand for gas – including in industrial and commercial sectors – in these regions in 2022 decreased by 2.3% (down to 907.1 bcm) and by 3.7% (down to 161.7 bcm) respectively.