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Australia June Gladstone LNG exports hit 10-month low
7/6/2021 12:00:00 AM

LNG exports from Australia's Gladstone port in Queensland dropped to a 10-month low in June, largely because of a fall in daily shipments to China to their lowest level since July 2020, latest port statistics show.

Total June shipments from Gladstone, the only LNG-exporting port in eastern Australia, eased by 1.91pc from May to 1.84mn t in absolute terms, although on a per day basis the June volumes were up by 1.4pc to 61,400 t/d from 60,500 t/d in May, according to latest monthly data from Gladstone Ports (GPC). The total June volumes were also up by 8.1pc from a year earlier, GPC said.
China accounted for around 63pc of the June export volumes, the lowest monthly share since 58pc in April 2020. Despite the decline in shipments to China, total LNG exports from Gladstone in the first six months of 2021 were up by 11.8pc on the year to 8.02mn t.
Chinese state-controlled firms hold the most sales and purchase agreements (SPAs) with the three LNG projects at Gladstone. China's state-controlled energy firm Sinopec has SPAs with the partners in the 9mn t/yr Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG) plant for 7.6mn t/yr. Sinopec also owns 25pc of APLNG.
There was a shipment of 70,000t to India, the first from Gladstone since the 63,000t cargo it shipped in September, the GPC data showed.
The second-largest buyer of LNG from Gladstone so far in 2021 is South Korea, which was the destination for 1.7mn t in the first six months of 2021, steady from the first half of 2020. South Korea's state-controlled Kogas has a 3.5mn t/yr deal with the 7.8mn t/yr Gladstone LNG (GLNG) venture, in which it owns 15pc.
Japan is Australia's largest LNG customer, but most cargoes are shipped from the other seven Australian LNG projects that are located in Western Australia and the Northern Territory (NT). The only SPA involving a Japanese company with any of the three LNG plants located at Gladstone is utility Kansai Electric Power's 1mn t/yr deal with APLNG.
Shipments to Malaysia rose to a four-month high of 187,000t in June. Malaysia's state-owned Petronas owns 27.5pc of GLNG and has equity offtake arrangements with the project's partners.
The third LNG plant at Gladstone is the Shell-operated 8.5mn t/yr Queensland Curtis LNG (QCLNG). Shell owns 50pc of train one at QCLNG, with Chinese state-controlled energy firm CNOOC owning the remaining 50pc. Shell owns 97.5pc of train two and Japanese utility Tokyo Gas owns 2.5pc.
The total June shipments represent a utilisation rate of around 88pc. Australian independent Santos, the operator of GLNG, has forecast that the project will produce around 6.2mn t/yr in 2021, which would mark a record since it started shipments in 2014. This implies that GLNG will operate at an average utilisation rate of 79.5pc over 2021.
Source: Argus