EU LNG maritime imports are increasing at a breakneck pace

Jhe rate at which the EU has imported LNG by sea has been enormous since the beginning of the year, due to the situation in Ukraine. In a recent report, shipping broker Banchero Costa said that “in 2021, the European Union (27) was the world’s third largest maritime importer of LNG, with a share of 15.8%. It followed mainland China with 20.2% and Japan with a 19.7% share. LNG imports into Europe jumped sharply in 2019, with the start-up of several projects. In the 12 months of 2019, European LNG imports jumped +65.4% year-on-year to 65.6 million tonnes, compared to 39.7 million tonnes in 2018. Since then, volumes have fallen, due to more limited energy demand, at the time of Covid shutdowns. and a weak economy. In 2020, the EU imported 62.8 million tonnes of LNG, -4.2% less than in 2019. In 2021, imports fell further, with only 58.5 million tonnes, down additional -6.8% compared to 2020”.

Source: banchero costa &c spa

“Things took a dramatic turn in the first quarter of 2022, however, with the Russian invasion of Ukraine pushing Europe to secure alternative energy sources. In the first three months of 2022, the EU imported 22.1 million tonnes of LNG transported by sea, up +72.8% year-on-year compared to 12.8 million tonnes in the first quarter of 2021. This also made the EU the largest importer global LNG market so far this year, with a 20.9% share of global imports, ahead of Japan’s 19.7% and mainland China’s 15.7%. 6.4 million tonnes for France, 5.4 million tonnes for Spain, 2.6 million tonnes for the Netherlands, 2.2 million tonnes mln t to Italy, 2.0 mln t to Belgium, 1.2 mln t to Portugal, 0.8 mln t to Poland, 0.7 mln t to Greece Equally strong growth was observed. ed in UK imports,” the shipbroker said.

According to Banchero Costa, “in the first quarter of 2022, LNG imports into the United Kingdom jumped by +51.3% year-on-year to 5.7 million tonnes, compared to 3.8 million tonnes in the 1st quarter of 2021. D n the other hand, LNG imports into China have slowed somewhat. from last year’s record highs. Volumes in 1Q 2022 decreased by -13.9% YoY to 16.7 million tons, compared to 19.4 mln tons in 1Q 2021. Imports in Japan also decreased in 1Q 2022 by -10.8 % YoY at 20.9 mln t vs. 23.5 mln t in Q1 2021. sources for LNG shipments to Europe, there was a huge increase in volumes from the US. In the first 3 months of 2022, the EU imported 10.4 million tonnes of LNG from the United States, up +234.8% year-on-year compared to the 3.1 million tonnes of the 1Q 2021. The United States accounted for 46.9% of LNG imports by sea to Europe in the first quarter of 2022”.

Source: banchero costa &c spa

Meanwhile, “despite all the rhetoric about sanctions, volumes from Russia have not gone down, far from it. In 1Q 2022, the EU imported 4.1 million tonnes of LNG from Russia, up +49.1% YoY compared to 2.7 million tonnes in 1Q 2021. This is an absolute record. The EU has never imported so much LNG from Russia as this year. In fact, March 2022 was a record month for Russian LNG imports into the EU. In March 2022, the EU imported 1.6 million tonnes of LNG from Russia, up +14.5% month-on-month compared to February 2022 and up +34.3% year-on-year compared to to March 2021. In the first quarter of 2022, Russia accounted for 18.3% of EU seaborne LNG imports. West Africa now ranks third among Europe’s top suppliers, shipping 2.8 million tonnes to the EU in January-March 2022, up +27.0% year-on-year. West Africa accounts for 12.7% of EU LNG imports. Imports from Qatar, on the other hand, continued to decline. In Q1 2022, the EU imported 2.2 million tonnes of LNG from Qatar, down -2.0% year-on-year compared to 2.3 million tonnes in Q1 2021. Qatar represents 10 .1% of total EU seaborne LNG imports. Shipments from North Africa to the EU also fell -13.5% year-on-year to 1.7 million tonnes in Q1 2022 from a record high of 1.9 million tonnes in Q1. quarter of 2021″, concluded the shipping broker.
Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide