Global supply trends

Published at 11:40 28 Aug 2019 by

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LNG supply grew by 3.3 Mt in July and is set to grow by 4.25 Mt y/y in August as new terminals at Cameron, Prelude, Corpus Christi and Freeport all ramp up. Additional y/y growth in LNG supply also has been coming from suppliers without new terminals, with consistent growth coming from Malaysia, Algeria and Egypt. We expect sequential and y/y gains in the US to continue, while slower y/y growth from Australia and Russia will also help push y/y global supply growth up by 8.9 Mt in Q4 19 and 8.1 Mt in Q1 20.

Initial indications from cargo-tracking data and customs data suggest that global LNG exports in July came in 3.3 Mt higher y/y and will be 4.25 Mt higher y/y in August. Kpler numbers put exports at 8.3 Mt for the last week of August, which would be 0.7 Mt higher than the previous record (second week of 2019), so we expect to see some downward revisions to the tanker tracking numbers. Global growth continues to be led by the US, with Kpler data putting July exports up by 1.1 Mt y/y and 1.32 Mt y/y in August as outbound flows from the 4.5 Mtpa Corpus Christi T2 and the 4.0 Mtpa Cameron T2 continue to ramp up. The August numbers include the first two export cargoes from the 4.4 Mtpa Freeport T1, and while that train will continue to commission in September, plateau production and commercial operation will follow in Q4 19.   

Kpler data suggest slowing y/y growth from Australia—at 0.7 Mt y/y for July and 1.4 Mt in August—but sequential gains continue, reflecting in part new operation at the 3.6 Mtpa Prelude terminal. However, with Prelude online and Ichthys T2’s limited ramp-up capacity, we see growth in Australian exports slowing to 1.95 Mt y/y in Q4 19 and then adding just 4.6 Mt y/y across 2020. 

Russian supply was up by 1.3 Mt y/y in July and by 1.0 Mt y/y in August, but the three-month average is still lower than at the start of Q2 19, reflecting maintenance at various trains over the summer. With Russian peak exports for its current capacity around 2.6 Mtpm, plateau production will be enough to support strong incremental gains through to January 2020. After that, y/y growth will lessen, as only the small 1.5 Mtpa Portovaya terminal is set to be added by the end of this year. For Q4 19, we forecast Russian supply will add 1.35 Mt y/y, and for Q1 19 will add 0.6 Mt y/y.  

The last two months have also seen strong y/y growth from a number of producers that have not added new terminals, with y/y additions coming from Malaysia (0.8 Mt), Algeria (0.35 Mt), Egypt (0.3 Mt) and Angola (0.2 Mt).

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