U.S. Becomes Biggest LNG Exporter in 2023, Hits Record Highs

tendata blogTrade Trends News

ten data blog05-01-2024

us export natural gas,us export record,us gas exporter

U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports hit a record monthly and annual high in December, tanker-tracking data showed, which analysts said would make the U.S. the largest LNG exporter in 2023, overtaking Qatar and Australia.

Alex Munton, director of global gas and LNG research at consulting firm Rapidan Energy Group, said the U.S. was the most prominent performer in the growth of global LNG supplies in 2023, with supplies leaving U.S. terminals rising to 8.6 million tons in December.

Qatar is the largest exporter of LNG in 2022, and Australia is the second-largest LNG exporter that year, U.S. government data show.

Munton said, "The record U.S. production was driven by two factors: the return of Freeport LNG to full service, which added 6 mt, and Venture Global LNG's Calcasieu Pass plant, which increased its full-year production by 3 mt over 2022."

LSEG data shows that full-year U.S. exports increased by 14.7% to 88.9 million metric tons (MT), largely due to the return to full production at the Freeport LNG plant, which suffered a fire in 2022, as well as increased processing efficiencies at other plants.

Shipments in 2022 stood at 77.5 million tons, according to the Financial Information Provider.

Europe remained the main destination for U.S. LNG exports in December, with 5.43 mt, or slightly more than 61%, of the total. According to the London Stock Exchange, 68% of US LNG exports went to Europe in November.

Analysts at consultancy Rystad Energy said the year-on-year decline reflected higher-than-normal temperatures and elevated storage levels in Europe. European gas storage depots were reported to be around 97% full at the start of December.

Asia was the second largest export market for US LNG in December, accounting for 2.29 mt, or 26.6% of exports, up from 18.5% in November. US exports to Latin America amounted to 500,000 mt, slightly less than 6% of total exports, according to LSEG vessel tracking data.

Natural gas flows to the seven large U.S. LNG export plants have climbed by an average of 14.9 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) so far in January, up from the monthly record of 14.7 bcfd set in December, LSEG data showed. the figure exceeded the all-time monthly high of 4.3 bcfd set in November.

On Tuesday morning, U.S. natural gas traded at $2.55 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) on the Henry Center benchmark in Louisiana, $9.81 per mmBtu on the European Dutch Transfer Fund (TTF) benchmark, and $11.52 per mmBtu on the Japan-Korea benchmark (JKM). In Asia.

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