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    India's April LNG Imports See a Sharp Drop


Imports dropped owing to the lockdown that came in effect on March 25.

by: Shardul Sharma

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India's April LNG Imports See a Sharp Drop

After rising by a whopping 68% yr/yr in February and 20% yr/yr in March, India’s LNG imports in April witnessed a steep yr/yr decline owing to the lockdown imposed by the Indian government late-March to control the spread of Covid-19. The lockdown has impacted gas demand and major LNG importers had to issue force majeure notices.  

India’s LNG imports last month were 1.95bn m3 (about 1.4mn metric tons), down 29.4% compared with the corresponding month of the previous year, according to the data published by the Indian oil and gas ministry's Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell on May 27.

A decline in Indian LNG demand is bad news for the already oversupplied global LNG market. India, the fourth-largest LNG importer in the world, had been a bright spot as it soaked up large volumes of the commodity. The country's cumulative LNG imports during the 12 months to March 31 (fiscal 2019-2020) were 33.68bn m3 (about 25mn mt), up 17.2% compared with the previous year. The 2019-2020 imports were the highest for any financial year on record.

Although there have been some relaxations in recent weeks, and economic activities have picked up, India remains under lockdown till May 31.