Record Australian LNG shipments: EnergyQuest Australian LNG Monthly March 2021

EnergyQuest has just released its Australian LNG Monthly for March 2021. Some of the highlights are:

  • Australian LNG shipments bounced back to record levels in March 2021 with a big lift in deliveries to China. In March Australian projects shipped 7.2 million tonnes (Mt) (105 cargoes), significantly higher than 6.0 Mt (88 cargoes) in February and a new record.  The previous record was 7.1 Mt (104 cargoes) in December 2019. Australian projects delivered 37 cargoes to China in March, after delivering 29 in February and 29 in March 2020.
  • The average price of Australian LNG exported to Korea in February was over A$14/GJ to Korea. February export prices were all higher than domestic prices.
  • West Coast shipments increased to 5.3 Mt in March (4.1 Mt in February), with 76 cargoes in March compared to 59 in February.
  • East coast LNG shipments remained steady at 2.0 Mt in March (2.0 Mt in February), with 29 cargoes compared to 29 in February, and 28 cargoes of 1.9 Mt a year ago. 
  • There were no March spot cargoes reported from the east coast, and four spot cargoes from the west coast (4% of total shipments).
  • Queensland imported gas from the other states in March, with flows in an easterly direction seen throughout the month. Net gas flows to Queensland from other states were 4.1 PJ in March.
  • CSG production from fields operated by the LNG producers was 118.6 PJ in March, well up from 110.7 PJ in February and 1.6 PJ above exports including fuel gas. 
  • After falling through most of 2020, power demand in the National Electricity Market appears to have shaken off the pandemic in March, with an increase in demand of 1.3%. However higher demand was more than covered by higher hydro, solar and wind. Coal generation was steady so gas-fired generation was smashed, non-existent in Tasmania and almost so in NSW and Victoria. From a national point of view, exporting Australian gas to Korea for over A$14/GJ is far better than trying to compete with coal and renewables when electricity prices are around A$40/MWh.
  • Thankfully it appears that work has started on the Port Kembla Gas Import Terminal in NSW. This is essential for the Victorian winter 2023. However the Victorian decision to reject Crib Point and, by default, rely on NSW will add around $1/GJ to Victorian gas prices due to additional pipeline transmission costs.

Information about the EnergyQuest Australian LNG Monthly is available by clicking here