French And Dutch Terminals Remain Top Destinations For US LNG Cargoes

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  • French and Dutch LNG import terminals have solidified their positions as the leading destinations for US liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies.
  • According to the latest monthly report from the US Department of Energy (DOE), these European terminals continue to receive the bulk of US LNG volumes, underscoring the strategic importance of these routes in the global energy landscape.

In March, US LNG terminals shipped substantial volumes to France and the Netherlands. Specifically, France received 60.6 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of LNG, while the Netherlands imported 57.2 Bcf. These figures highlight the prominence of these two countries in the US LNG export market. Other significant recipients included Japan (28.9 Bcf), Spain (21.8 Bcf), and South Korea (21 Bcf). Together, these five nations accounted for 51.2 percent of the total US LNG exports for the month.

Quarterly and Annual Trends

The trend observed in March is consistent with the earlier months of the year. France was the top destination for US LNG in February, closely followed by the Netherlands. For the first quarter of 2024, the Netherlands emerged as the primary destination for US LNG, with shipments totaling 144.5 Bcf across 43 cargoes. This represents a 6 percent increase from the previous year. In 2023, the Netherlands also led in US LNG imports, receiving 588.6 Bcf, followed by France with 493.2 Bcf. In the first quarter alone, France imported 138 Bcf, a significant 35 percent increase from the same period last year.

Overall US LNG Exports

In total, the US exported 369.9 Bcf of LNG in March to 30 different countries. This marks a 0.9 percent increase compared to March 2023 and a 3 percent rise from February 2024. Europe was the primary recipient, taking in 220.1 Bcf or 59.9 percent of the total exports. Asia followed with 127.3 Bcf or 34.4 percent, and Latin America/Caribbean received 22.5 Bcf or 6.1 percent.

Distribution by Facility

Several US LNG facilities were instrumental in these exports. Cheniere’s Sabine Pass plant led with 40 cargoes, followed by its Corpus Christi terminal with 18 cargoes. Sempra’s Cameron LNG plant dispatched 20 shipments, and the Freeport LNG terminal sent out 10 cargoes. Additionally, Venture Global’s Calcasieu plant shipped 14 cargoes, Elba Island LNG sent 7 cargoes, and Cove Point LNG dispatched 10 shipments.

Pricing Insights

The DOE report also provided insights into LNG pricing. In March, the average price by export terminal was $5.47 per million British thermal units (MMBtu), down from $7.67 in March 2013. The average prices for February and January were $6.31/MMBtu and $6.63/MMBtu, respectively. Notably, Venture Global’s Calcasieu Pass terminal had the highest average price in March at $9.23/MMBtu, while prices at other facilities ranged between $4.39 and $6.01/MMBtu.

Historical Data and Top Destinations

From February 2016 through March 2024, the US exported 6,004 LNG cargoes, amounting to 19,067.7 Bcf to 41 countries. South Korea remains the top destination with 595 cargoes, followed by Japan (478 cargoes), France (498 cargoes), the UK (461 cargoes), and the Netherlands (432 cargoes). While France received more cargo than Japan, the volume was less.

The sustained demand from French and Dutch terminals underscores their critical role in the US LNG export strategy. As Europe continues to secure diverse energy sources, the US remains a pivotal supplier, ensuring energy security and contributing to the global energy transition.

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Source: LNG Prime