Trends in US Exports of Liquified Gases

US exports of LNG and liquified propane and butane gases through April 2023 are all higher than in the same period in 2022.

The US reported a new record on exports of LNG in April, 2023, following a strong upward trend for most of the last six months. YTD, shipments totaled 30.4 million tons, up 2% from April 2022 YTD. Exports to UK and the Netherlands were up sharply; volumes to France, Spain and Turkey, among others, declined.

US exports of liquified propane gas set a record in March, easing in April. Volume April YTD totaled 14.5 million tons, up 11% from the same period in 2022.

NOTE: export statistics, as published, are often not accurate because the destination given can be intermediary rather than final. Published US export statistics for liquified propane gas are an example. These show much higher exports to Japan (4.5 million tons) than reported in Japan’s import statistics (2.6 million tons) and lower volumes to China and Korea than reported in their import statistics. Apparently China and Korea are the final destination for large volumes shown in US statistics as slated for Japan.

Liquified butane gas exports totaled 4.1 million tons through April, up 23% from April 2022 YTD. Here again US reports much higher volumes to Japan (398,000 tons) than reported by Japan as coming from the US (225,000 tons), but lower volumes to Indonesia and Korea than these countries report as imports from US, indicating that Japan is an intermediary, and not final, destination for part of the volume.

The statistics reported by government bodies in each country are the main source of trade information. Import statistics tend to be more accurate than export statistics because they are monitored more closely for revenue and security purposes. Export statistics often do not show the final destination and should be verified by comparison with trading partner import statistics.

From International Trader Publications’ World Trade Analyses, continuously updated online analysis of LNG, liquified propane gas and liquified butane gas world trade.