US LNG exports continues decline in April – LSEG

US liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports experienced their fourth consecutive decline in April, dropping to 6.19 million metric tons from March’s 7.61 million, according to preliminary data from financial firm LSEG reported by Reuters on Wednesday. This decrease was attributed to production disruptions.

Freeport LNG, the second largest US plant by capacity, faced recurring mechanical issues. In the preceding month, the terminal in Quintana, Texas, shipped five cargoes totaling 330,000 tons, a stark contrast to December’s 21 cargoes and 1.42 million tons.

Since mid-January, the facility has operated without at least one of its three gas-processing trains.

Freeport declined to comment on these recent production challenges, although LSEG data indicated an increase in feed gas consumption over the past three days, with a tanker observed docked at its facility last Friday.

Energy Aspects analyst David Seduski expressed scepticism about Freeport reaching its typical summer utilisation of around 90 per cent before June, citing past maintenance delays in a note to clients last week.

Cheniere Energy, the largest US exporter, reported a temporary reduction in gas consumption lasting approximately 24 hours at each of its Corpus Christi, Texas, and Sabine Pass, Louisiana, plants last month. However, the company declined to disclose the reasons behind these declines.

Data revealed a decrease in US LNG exports to Europe, falling to 3.25 million tons, comprising 52.5 per cent of the total volume, compared to March’s 4.31 million tons, accounting for about 57 per cent of that month’s total.

Meanwhile, Asia maintained its share of total volumes, with the seven US export plants shipping 2.02 million tons of LNG to Asia, constituting 32.6 per cent of total exports, slightly down from March’s 2.4 million tons, or 33 per cent.

One cargo was destined for Kuwait from Cameron LNG, according to the data.

Notably, LNG exports to Latin America nearly doubled in April compared to March, reaching 850,000 tons, or 13.7 per cent of the total, up from March’s 550,000 tons, or 7 per cent. Sales to Latin America increased, with notable purchases by Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Brazil, and Argentina, as indicated by the data.

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