India’s LNG imports rebound in May
India's LNG receipts edged up in May from a year earlier after dropping sharply in April, but import growth was down from previous months as gas demand remained low. LNG imports rose by 0.5pc to 2.38bn m³ of pipeline gas equivalent (1.83mn t of LNG) in May from 2.37bn m³ a year earlier, according to preliminary figures from the oil ministry. Receipts also rose from 1.95bn m³ in April, when stricter lockdown measures were in place, down from 2.76bn m³ a year earlier.
Imports in the April 2019-March 2020 fiscal year rose by 17pc on the year to 33.7bn m³, driven partly by increased spot purchases because of low spot LNG prices. The value of LNG imports fell to $500mn last month from $700mn a year earlier, with the India des first- and second-half May prices expiring this year at $2.03/mn Btu and $1.545/mn Btu, respectively, down from $5.64/mn Btu and $4.98/mn Btu a year earlier. India's import dependency, based on gas consumption, rose to 51.8pc in May from 47.1pc a year earlier. But the country's lockdown may have weighed on demand and limited the scope for a rise in LNG imports, even as gross domestic production slowed to 2.3bn m³ from 2.74bn m³.
Demand started to recover in mid-May after the government eased restrictions on businesses and offices, and the country's lockdown is planned to end on 30 June with "containment zones" under strict restrictions until then. Compressed natural gas demand fell by half but will recover in a few months, with fertilizer and power plants faring much better in gas use than city gas despite the lockdown, state-run gas distributor Gail said.
(Source: Argus media 26-06-2020)