Asia Pacific: Trade
Strong growth in Thailand’s LNG imports will support rising demand for the fuel in Southeast Asia.
Thailand’s LNG imports rose strongly at the end of 2016, and are expected to increase further in 2017. The country’s imports of the fuel increased by 15% on an annual basis in December and by 13% year on year in Q4. Thailand imported around 2.9 mt of LNG in 2016, up by 11% from 2015. Although Thailand’s extra imports have largely been supplied by the country’s long-term contract with Qatar, it has also taken spot volumes from Oman in recent months. Thailand’s energy demand is expected to rise, and with it the country’s requirements for LNG. The expansion of the country’s LNG terminal from 5 mtpa to 10 mtpa this year will support an increase in the volume of the fuel coming into the country. Further contracted supplies are also set to start this year when flows from PTT’s 20-year agreement with BP for 1 mtpa start up. The increase in imports will help supply the market during a period of growing demand and weakening production.