Global liquefied natural gas (LNG) demand was 86 million tonnes (mt) in the second quarter, compared with 74 mt in the second quarter of 2018, an increase of 16%, said GasLog Partners, the international owner and operator of LNG carriers.
Monaco-headquartered company quoted a Poten report which says that higher European imports (up 110% year-on-year) accounted for most of the growth, while demand from Northeast Asia (Japan, China, South Korea and Taiwan) was flat year-on-year.
Natural gas prices were at multi-year lows in the second quarter of 2019 as the leveling off in demand growth from key LNG consumers in Northeast Asia coupled with elevated inventories and new LNG supply depressed LNG prices in Asia and Europe.
Global LNG demand for 2019 is estimated at 351 mt, an increase of over 37 mt, or 12%, over 2018, according to Wood Mackenzie.
Global LNG supply totaled 87 mt in the second quarter of 2019, an increase of 13 mt or 17% over the second quarter of 2018, principally driven by new supply additions in the U.S., Australia and Russia, according to Poten.
Wood Mackenzie estimates that 2019 supply will be 365 mt, or 38 mt (12%), higher year-on-year as 2018’s supply additions continue to ramp up production and new projects begin production in the U.S. and Australia.
"We expect multi-month and multi-year chartering activity and shipping rates to increase from current levels during the second half of 2019 and into 2020, with the magnitude and duration dependent on the pace and location of demand growth, the continued ramp-up in new LNG supply additions and cooling and heating demand during the Northern Hemisphere summer and winter, respectively," it said.
"In 2021 and beyond, we continue to see a balanced market for LNG shipping relative to supply and demand for the LNG commodity, but caution that additional ordering of new LNGCs beyond those in the order-book could dampen shipping rates, particularly from 2022 onwards," Gaslog said.
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