JAPAN is still Australia’s largest customer for LNG, but China is closing the gap as the second-largest buyer, according to a new EnergyQuest LNG report.

Over the 2018-19 financial year, Australia shipped 29.5m tonnes of LNG to Japan. Of this volume, 95% was shipped from Western Australia or the Northern Territory.

China was Australia’s second-largest customer for LNG over the past financial year. The country bought 27.2m tonnes of liquefied gas, or 36% of Australia’s total exports. 

China is closing the gap as second largest buyer, buying 27.2 Mt last year, or 36% of Australia’s total LNG exports. Australia supplied 46% of China’s LNG for the year and is the country’s biggest supplier.

The lion’s share of Australian LNG to China originated in Queensland; 57% of Australian LNG exports to China came from the state. Queensland alone supplied 27% of China’s entire LNG imports for the year.

“China is relying on Australia and Australia is relying on China,” the report said.

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EnergyQuest chief executive Graeme Bethune said the concentration of Australian LNG trade in North Asia is both a strength and a weakness.

“A strength as North Asia is the world’s largest and fastest growing LNG market,” he said. “A weakness from lack of diversification and the risks this involves.”

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