Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) shipments from the United States increased in the first half of 2021, averaging 9.6 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d). When compared to the same period in 2020, this figure represents a 42 percent increase, or 2.8 Bcf/d. During the summer months of 2020, US LNG exports hit new lows, but they rebounded in November and December to make new highs.
In the first half of this year, U.S. LNG shipments climbed as international Natural Gas and LNG spot prices rose in Asia and Europe due to cold weather. Rising global LNG demand when COVID-19 limitations were lifted, as well as unanticipated disruptions at LNG export plants in a number of nations, all had a role.
The increased demand for spot LNG imports in Asia was fueled by colder-than-normal winter temperatures. Natural Gas demand continued to climb in the spring, despite low post-winter stockpiles, resulting in abnormally high prices. The increased need for more flexible LNG supplies, mainly from the United States, was motivated by the high pricing. Following a frigid winter, storage stockpiles in Europe were also low.
High Natural Gas spot prices were fueled by rising temperatures in May and June, as well as increased demand from the electric power sector. spot prices in Europe have typically been lower than in Asia. This year, however, Europe’s prices are more closely mirroring Asia’s spot LNG pricing, attracting flexible LNG supplies from around the world to replenish storage reserves. This year, the US Henry Hub Natural Gas benchmark and US LNG spot market prices were lower than international and spot LNG prices.