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North Asia's winter blast to boost January LNG consumption

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LNG Industry,

Reuters are reporting that winter temperatures in North Asia will become unusually cold in the coming weeks, lifting the demand for LNG as regional power stations ramp up to meet the increased heating needs.

January is usually the coldest month of the year in the northern hemisphere, and a drop to colder-than-usual temperatures during the peak winter heating demand season is likely to tighten markets and support already high prices for LNG.

Analyst forecasts predict rising LNG purchases to meet the electric heating demand in North Asia's biggest energy consumers of China, Japan and South Korea and their economic hubs.

Temperatures in Tokyo, Seoul and Beijing may drop to 2 – 3°C below normal for mid-January. The unusually cold weather should persist over the next 45 days in Seoul and Beijing.

The temperature swing should raise power and fuel consumption and tighten North Asia LNG markets.

Data shows that LNG consumption in Japan will hit its highest in over a year this month, at 10.73 billion m3, up from 9.7 billion m3 in December.

In China, the world's second-biggest LNG consumer behind Japan, imports have set new records since last November and rose to at least 7.33 billion m3 in December.

Demand in South Korea, another top LNG consumer, is expected to rise from 5.03 billion m3 in December to 5.23 billion m3 in January, the highest level since January 2015.

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