The foremost importer of LNG in the world, Japan, increased imports of LNG by 0.2% last year, although the rise was not as sharp as some had predicted despite the country having closed 50 nuclear reactors following the 2011 Fukushima plant meltdown.
The Ministry of Finance revealed that imports last year reached a record 87.49 million t costing approximately US$ 68.98 billion. The steady incline from 2012 was due, in part, to a milder winter and the concurrent rise in usage of thermal coal – which saw imports increase to 9.97 million t in December (as rise of 17.5%) – as an alternative energy source. Other reasons include the implementation of measures to reduce usage of energy and the high cost of LNG spot cargoes.
One of the largest importers of LNG in Japan, Tokyo Gas, reported a significant drop in LNG imports from the previous year for the month of December. The company imported just under 1.3 million m3 in December, down 6.2% from 2012.
Edited from various sources by Ted Monroe
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