A 14% increase in global LNG trade in 2018, to 318 million tons of imports and exports, is forecast by ITP based on the latest available statistics. This follows an 8% increase in global trade in 2017 versus 2016.
Impressive changes in regional exports and imports were visible in 2018.
After contracting by 5% in 2017, Middle East exports of LNG in 2018 are projected up 17%, to 103 million tons, on higher shipments to Asia-Pacific, up 10%, Western Europe, up 8%, and, with the highest percentage increase, Eastern Europe, up 184%. Exports to Africa and the Americas were all down substantially from the prior year.
North America’s (US) LNG exports in 2018 continued the strong expansion evident in 2017. Shipments in 2018 are projected up 56%, to 20.5 million tons. Volumes to Asia-Pacific more than doubled, to 11.1 million tons. Latin America, Western Europe and Africa were also growth destinations.
Imports into the Asia-Pacific region expanded even more strongly in 2018, up 21%, versus 9% in 2017. Imports from all other regions were up, with the Middle East, Africa and North America the largest volume suppliers. Asia-Pacific intra-regional trade grew 4% in 2018, compared with 17% in the prior year.
From International Trader Publications’ LNG World Trade Report