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.


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.”