Asia Pacific: Trade
Asia Pacific imports are rising as the region moves towards summer.
Northeast Asia’s gas imports are expected to rise by around 1% year on year in Q2. As summer begins in the region, warmer temperatures are supporting gas offtake. However, the upside for imports into Japan and South Korea remains limited, even though both countries’ imports grew in March. South Korea’s LNG imports rose by 12% year on year that month – a marked contrast to the consistent declines seen in recent months. South Korean LNG imports were especially low in March 2015, which is partly the reason for the year-on-year growth. The country’s imports are expected to continue to decline this year as gas struggles to compete with coal and nuclear in the power sector. However, there could be scope for growth next year (see South Korea’s gas decline may be reaching its end, 19 May 2016).