Australia loses LNG export crown


Data compiled by Bloomberg reported in The Australian indicates that Australia has lost its spot as the world’s biggest exporter of LNG to the US, with the US exporting 91.2 million tonnes of LNG in 2023.

Australia was the second biggest LNG exporter in 2023, followed closely by Qatar.

Australia’s Department of Industry, Science and Resources forecasts that US LNG production will grow to 93 million tonnes by 2025 and to 134 million tonnes by 2028, while Australian LNG production is expected to remain steady at around 82 million through most of the decade.

“US LNG exports remained strong through 2023, with substantial redirection to Europe occurring after LNG flows between Russia and Europe were stopped”, the Department of Industry, Science and Resources said in a December quarterly report.


“Over 80% of US LNG was exported to Europe in 2022–23, and the trend is expected to largely hold as Europe continues to seek reliable alternatives to Russian pipeline gas”.

US exports are projected to increase further in 2024 as the first LNG train from the Qatar Energy and ExxonMobil-led Golden Pass comes online in the second half of the year.

Unlike East Coast Australia, the US has a domestic gas reservation scheme in place, which has mostly succeeded in keeping domestic gas prices low:

US gas price

US domestic gas price

Not reserving east coast gas for domestic use is one of the biggest policy blunders in Australia’s history that will destroy what is left of our manufacturing industry, while raising cost-of-living and inflation pressures for both households and businesses.

About the author
Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. He is also a co-founder of MacroBusiness. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.