Japan has released its full financial year LNG imports:
Japan’s imports of liquefied natural gas dropped 6.2 percent in the fiscal year that ended March 31, preliminary data from Japan’s Ministry of Finance showed on Wednesday.
The world’s largest buyer of chilled gas imported 83.57 million mt of LNG in the fiscal year spanning from April 2015-March 2016, as compared to 88.51 million mt in the same period a year ago.
Japan paid US$41.77 billion for LNG imports in the April-March period as oil and gas prices fell. This is down 41.4 percent as compared to the same period a year before, according to the data.
Japan’s imports of LNG reached 85.05 million mt in 2015, a drop of 3.9 percent as compared to the year before.
This was the first drop in Japan’s annual LNG imports since the devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 which caused Japan to shut down its nuclear industry.
This is to be expected as nuclear returns and over time renewables build market share. Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) outlined this future last September:
A plan setting a share of 20% to 22% for nuclear power in Japan’s energy mix by 2030 has been approved by a consultative committee. While scaling back fossil fuel use, the plan also calls for an expansion of renewable energy sources.
The long-term energy supply and demand outlook subcommittee of the Advisory Committee on Energy and Natural Resources approved the draft report on 1 June.
The report, by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), says that total energy demand in Japan will increase from 940 TWh in 2013 to 980.8 TWh in 2030.
That is a fall to 62 million tonnes of LNG imports by 2030, down nearly one third from the 2014 high. We should, of course, be preparing accordingly with post-mining boom reform policy.
But no, it isn’t going to happen, rather the Australian Department of Industry Office of the Chief Economist is going to swim over to Japan and impose it’s own outlook, from its recent Gas Market Report:
Negligible demand growth is projected for Japan and South Korea after 2020, as shown in Figure 4.13. This is mainly a result of strong competition from alternative energy sources. Despite a decline in market share, Japan is still expected to be the largest single importer by 2030 (110 bcm). South Korea, however, is expected to be overtaken by India by 2030 (67 bcm) and drop to fourth position (55 bcm).
That is 80mtpa of Japanese LNG imports in 2030. Just as well the Office of the Chief Economist is in control of Japanese policy! It looks like this on a chart:
The Banana Republic at work.