European LNG imports fall to lowest since 2021
Europe's liquefied natural gas imports have fallen to their lowest level since 2021. Imports rose sharply last year as Russia increasingly cut off gas supplies to Europe following its invasion of Ukraine.
LNG shipments fell seven per cent in July from a year earlier to 8.6 million tonnes, the lowest since November 2021, according to ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg.
The drop coincides with a slump in the region's benchmark gas prices, which have plunged more than 80 per cent over the period. The price drop has made the European market less attractive, with LNG traders opting to send deliveries to Asia or wait for prices to rise again.
Europe's LNG imports jumped by more than 60 per cent in 2022 to make up for the loss of Russian pipeline gas supplies following the invasion of Ukraine. The region currently has above-average stockpiles and faces subdued demand, but may need to raise prices to lure supplies away from rivals in Asia as it prepares for winter.
© BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK