Apr 2023

Trend of Natural Gas and LNG Prices

Short-term trend


  • The assessed spot LNG price for near-month delivery to Northeast Asia, JKM reached the USD 13s per million Btu on 3 April on the back of higher European gas prices, then declined amid steady inventory levels and weak demand, falling to a 22-month low of late USD 11s on 11 April. On 12 April, the JKM rallied and reached the USD 12s on expectations of a stronger contango based on the price movement of JKM futures, but it dropped the next day and further dropped below USD 12 on 14 April. The following week, JKM rose on expectations of increased demand due to heat waves in India and Thailand and droughts in southern and eastern China, reaching the late USD 12s on 17 April and remaining at the USD 12s since then, but high inventories and weak demand remained unchanged and JKM fell again, remaining in the low USD 11s toward the end of the month.
  • JOGMEC announced in its monthly report of spot LNG prices for delivery to Japan that the average price of spot LNG cargoes for delivery to Japan contracted in March 2023 and scheduled to be delivered from the month onward (contract-based price) was not disclosed. The average price of spot LNG cargoes that were contracted and delivered in Japan within the month (arrival-based price) was not disclosed.
  • Based on the preliminary figures from Japan's customs statistics of the Ministry of Finance, the country's average LNG import price remained expensive at USD 14.90 per million Btu and JPY 104,218 per tonne in March 2023, although the figures were lower than those in the previous month. The average landed prices of LNG in Japan from the United States, the ASEAN region, the Middle East, and Russia in March were USD 11.98, USD 13.94, USD 14.97, and USD 14.66, respectively. Elsewhere in Northeast Asia, average import prices in March were USD 11.98 in China, USD 17.67 in Korea, and USD 14.24 in Chinese Taipei. Japan’s average LNG import price for FY2022 was USD 17.97 per million Btu, an increase of 50% from the previous year and JPY 126,050 per tonnes, an increase of 80% from the previous year. Japan’s average landed crude oil import price (JCC: Japan crude cocktail) was USD 85.35 per barrel in March 2023, declining for nine months in a row. However, the Japanese yen-denominated price stood at JPY 72,421 per kilolitre in March, rising from the previous month, due to a change in the currency exchange rates. Japan’s average LNG import price, which accounts for 70%-80% of long-term contracts linked to JCC prices, is expected to continue to be affected by current crude oil prices, as well as recent weak spot LNG prices.
  • Japan imported 5.72 million tonnes of LNG in March 2023, 12% lower than the same month in 2022. The total import volume during the first three months of 2023 was 18.94 million tonnes, a decrease of 7% from the same period of 2022. China imported 5.36 million tonnes of LNG in March 2023, 17% higher than the same month of 2022. China’s total LNG import volume during the first three months of 2023 was 16.43 million tonnes, a decrease of 5% from the same period of the previous year. While Korea imported 4.07 million tonnes in March 2023, a decrease of 17% from the same month of 2022, Chinese Taipei imported 1.69 million tonnes, 19% lower than one year earlier. LNG import volume in these four markets was 54.38 million tonnes during the first three months of 2023, a 3% decrease year-on-year. Japan imported 70.55 million tonnes of LNG in FY2022, a decrease of 1.3% from the previous year.

United States

  • The Henry Hub Natural Gas Futures price remained in the low USD 2s amid mild weather, high inventories, and sluggish demand. The price rose to USD 2.3 on 18 April on expectations of higher demand due to lower temperatures but did not swing significantly after that and remained in the low USD 2s toward the end of the month.
  • The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) in its Short-Term Energy Outlook released on 11 April, forecasts an average natural gas spot price of USD 2.65 in the second quarter of 2023 as inventories begin to increase. For the full year of 2023, the price is forecast to fall below USD 3.00, down more than 50% from last year, as gas inventories exceed the average of the past five years.


  • The Dutch TTF Gas Futures price rose to USD 16.4 on 3 April as demand increased due to cooler temperatures, but market activity was slow and the TTF turned downward to USD 13.8 on 6 April. The following week, the market continued to move slowly over the Easter holiday, with TTF dropping to USD 13.3 on 14 April. On 18 April, TTF reached USD 13.7 on the back of unplanned maintenance of the Njord gas field in Norway, in addition to the shutdown of the Eemshaven LNG terminal in the Netherlands that began from the previous week, but fell to USD 12.9 the following day as demand declined due to higher spring temperatures. TTF subsequently rose to USD 13.0 on 20 April in response to unplanned maintenance at Norwegian gas fields and gas processing facilities, but the market remained subdued, with TTF hovering in the USD 12s toward the end of the month.

LNG and Spot Gas Prices, last 2 years

Mid- to long-term trend

  • The JKM price started to decline from January 2020, reaching an all-time low of USD 1.83 at the end of April 2020 due to increasing supply and slower growth of demand. After hovering in the USD 2s from May until July, it rose again from August 2020 due to supply disruptions at several production facilities to over USD 10 in December, reaching an all-time high of USD 32.5 in January 2021 because of the cold wave. JKM then fell sharply to the USD 5s towards the end of February, turning upwards in March and thereafter. Moving along with the also high European gas prices and briefly surpassing USD 56 in October, JKM remained in the middle of USD 30s in November, above USD 40 in December. In January and February 2022, JKM was in the USD 20s, temporarily surged to USD 85 in March due to fears of Russian pipeline gas supply disruptions, and then hovered around the USD 30s. Trading has been slow since April, with JKM falling from USD 36 to USD 22 in April and remaining in the low USD 20s during May and the first half of June. However, the price reached USD 40 in the second half of June and remained at the same level in July, and in August the price was generally USD 50s, temporarily exceeding USD 60 and USD 70, respectively. In September, JKM showed a downward trend as TTF declined, falling to the high USD 30s, and generally hovering in the high USD 20s during October and November. In December, the market was active during the year-end procurement season and JKM hovered around the USD 30s. In January 2023, trading resumed but was sluggish, with a downward trend from USD 20s, and a further decline to around USD 11s in April.
  • Japan's average LNG import price had been declining to the USD 5s in August - October 2020, the lowest level since January 2005, due to the collapse of international crude oil prices from March 2020. Then the average price rose to USD 7s in December 2020 as crude oil prices recovered. In response to strong crude oil price movements, the average price further went up to USD 9s in February 2021, after falling to the mid-USD 7s in March. It had then been on the rise along with crude oil prices to the highest ever at USD 22.73 in September, before falling to USD 14.90 in March 2023.

LNG and Spot Gas Prices, last 10 years

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Henry Hub price: NYMEX Futures and Options, CME Group
TTF price: ICE Endex, Intercontinental Exchange
JKM: LNG Japan/Korea Marker© 2023 by S&P Global Platts, a division of S&P Global Inc.
JOGMEC spot LNG price: Monthly spot LNG prices for delivery to Japan, JOGMEC; by March 2021, the source is Spot LNG Prices Statistics, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
Japan’s average LNG import price: Trade Statistics of Japan
EUA(EU ETS): ICE Endex, Intercontinental Exchange

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Trend of Natural Gas and LNG Inventories


  • Japan's LNG inventories as of the end of December 2022 stood at 5.54 million tonnes, a decrease of 8.8% and 0.53 million tonnes from November, and an increase of 11.0% from December 2021, higher than the past five-year average by 1.32 million tonnes.
  • The LNG inventories for city-gas supply as of the end of December 2022 were 2.70 million tonnes, 4.1% lower than November and 20.8% higher than December 2021. LNG consumption for city-gas in December 2022 was 3.14 million tonnes, increased by 0.7% year-on-year. City-gas companies received 2.97 million tonnes of LNG in December 2022, decreasing year-on-year by 1.2%.
  • The LNG inventories for power generation as of the end of December 2022 were 2.84 million tonnes, decreasing by 12.9% from November and 3.1% higher than December 2021. LNG consumption for power generation in December 2022 was 3.80 million tonnes, decreasing by 3.1% from December 2021. Power generation companies received 3.90 million tonnes of LNG, decreasing year-on-year by 13.1%.
  • According to the "LNG Inventory for Power Generation" released by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) on 19 April 2023, major power utilities’ LNG inventories were 2.42 million tonnes as of 16 April. This is higher by 0.46 million tonnes than the end of April 2022 and 0.47 million tonnes above the average of the end of April of the past five years.

Japan end of month LNG inventory, 2020-2022

Japan end of month LNG inventory, 2012-2022

Compiled based on data from Gas Business and Thermal Power Generation Statistics, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.As the inventory data is available for the period only after January 2008, the five-year average is applicable only after January 2013.

United States

  • As of 14 April 2023, working gas in underground natural gas storage in the United States was 1.93 Tcf, 1.6% increase from the previous month, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Gas inventories were 33.1% higher than those at the same time in 2022 and were 329 Bcf higher than the past five-year average. The latest inventories have been within the past five-year range since November 2020.

U.S. Natural Gas Underground Storage, 2021 - 2023

U.S. Natural Gas Underground Storage, 2013 - 2023

Compiled based on data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)


  • As of 23 April 2023, the stored volume of natural gas in European underground storage facilities operated by the Aggregated Gas Storage Inventory (AGSI +) EU member companies was 653.5 TWh (about 43.23 million tonnes LNG equivalent). The volume was higher than that of one year ago by 190.2% or 309.9 TWh (about 20.50 million tonnes LNG equivalent). The inventories represented 57.9% of the capacity, which was higher than 31.0% on the same day in 2022 and higher than the five-year average of 37.3%. The inventories in Germany and the Netherlands (which have relatively large storage capacity among the member countries) were 65.4% and 60.7% of their respective capacities.

European Natural Gas Storage, 2021 - 2023

European Natural Gas Storage, 2013 - 2023

Compiled based on data from Gas Infrastructure Europe, Aggregated Gas Storage Inventory (AGSI). As the inventory data is available for the period only after January 2011, the five-year average is applicable only after January 2016.


  • As of 23 April 2023, the stored volume of LNG in European LNG terminals reported by Aggregated LNG Storage Inventory (ALSI) member operators (including 18 operators in 11 countries) was 5.35 million cubic meters, 21.0% up from the previous month. The inventories were higher than the same day in 2022 by 32.9% and by 31.2% above the five-year average for the same day.

European LNG Inventory, 2021 - 2023

European LNG Inventory, 2012 - 2022

Compiled based on data from Gas Infrastructure Europe, Aggregated LNG Storage Inventory(ALSI). As the inventory data is available for the period only after January 2012, the five-year average is applicable only after January 2017.

Latest Developments in Major Natural Gas and LNG Projects


  • During the first quarter of 2023, the world traded over 100 million tonnes of LNG, almost same as one year earlier but still the largest volume ever for a single quarter. While Asia-Pacific's import declined slightly in the quarter year-on-year, the region sees new LNG consuming markets starting with the Philippines importing its first LNG cargo in the middle of April and Hong Kong is about to start importing LNG.


Asia and Oceania

  • JERA announced on 10 April 2023 an MOU with KOGAS, regarding cooperation in the LNG business.
  • CNOOC and TotalEnergies had completed China's currency (CNY) settled LNG trade through the Shanghai Petroleum and Natural Gas Exchange, the exchange said on 28 March 2023. The LNG was imported from UAE.
  • Hong Kong's CLP Holdings Limited announced on 13 April 2023 that an FSRU had arrived at an anchorage point. The terminal is developed by CLP Power and Hongkong Electric Co. and is scheduled for operation in mid-2023. The FSRU vessel is the world's largest with an overall length of 345 metres and a storage capacity of 263,000 m3 of LNG.
  • JFE Engineering announced on 28 March 2023 that it had secured a contract from CPC Corporation, Taiwan, for the design, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) support for the LNG terminal to be located 1.2 km offshore Taoyuan City in Chinese Taipei.
  • AG&P announced on 10 April 2023 the arrival of the commissioning cargo for the first LNG import terminal in Batangas Bay in the Philippines.
  • INPEX announced on 4 April 2023 that it had submitted a revised Plan of Development for Abadi LNG Project incorporating a CCS component to Indonesian government authorities. INPEX expects to reach an FID in the latter half of the 2020s and commence production in the early 2030s.
  • TotalEnergies announced on 17 April 2023 the delivery of a first LNG cargo to the Dhamra LNG terminal in Odisha on the east coast of India and owned and operated by Adani Total Private Limited (ATPL), a 50-50 joint venture between TotalEnergies and Adani.
  • ConocoPhillips announced on 27 March 2023 that it planned to become upstream operator of Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG) following the closing of EIG’s transaction with Origin Energy. In connection with this announcement, ConocoPhillips has agreed to purchase up to an additional 2.49% shareholding interest in APLNG and will own up to 49.99% of APLNG upon closing.


North America

  • Cheniere Energy filed on 30 March 2023 an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for approval to expand the Corpus Christi liquefaction plant with two mid-scale trains totalling 3.28 million tonnes per year. The two additional trains could be in operation by 2031 or earlier, according to the filing. The total capacity at the Corpus Christi site could increase from the current 15 million tonnes per year to 28.3 million tonnes per year, including the current expansion programme completing around 2025.
  • Baker Hughes announced on 27 March 2023 that it had been awarded an order by Bechtel to supply two Main Refrigerant Compressors (MRCs) for Sempra Infrastructure's Port Arthur LNG Phase 1 project. Packaging of the turbine/compressor train, as well as manufacturing of the compressors and testing of the trains, will take place at Baker Hughes' facilities in Italy. The expected commercial operation dates for Port Arthur LNG Phase 1 Train 1 and Train 2 are 2027 and 2028, respectively.
  • According to Venture Global LNG's filing of 28 March 2023 to FERC, regarding technical problems at its Calcasieu Pass LNG project, the filing said that during routine tests, the facility experienced failures at the power island and heat steam recovery generator. Following further tests, the issues with the heat system were traced to weld leaks.
  • FERC on 21 April 2023 issued orders reaffirming its 2019 approvals for the Rio Grande LNG project, along with the Rio Bravo Pipeline and the Texas liquefied natural gas export project, were in the public's interest, 18 months after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ordered the Commission to review its authorizations for the projects.
  • The U.S. Department of Energy issued on 13 April 2023 a document approving exports of LNG from the proposed Alaska project to non-free trade agreement (non-FTA) countries for a term of 30 years. If granted all required permits, the project would be operational in 2030.
  • Shell Eastern Trading (Pte) Ltd and a subsidiary of Mexico Pacific Limited announced 27 March 2023 that they had signed an additional SPA for Shell to offtake 1.1 million tonnes per year of LNG from the third train of Mexico Pacific's LNG export facility, Saguaro Energía, Sonora, Mexico. Shell will purchase LNG on an FOB basis over a term of 20 years. When fully operational, the first phase of the facility will have three trains and a combined capacity of 14.1 million tonnes per year.


European and surrounding regions

  • The European Commission announced on 18 April 2023 that on 25 April, the EU Energy Platform for the joint purchasing of gas - via its AggregateEU service - would launch the first call for placing a demand to buy gas. This requires that interested companies from EU Member States and the Contracting Parties of the Energy Community (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine) finalise their registration with the service provider, PRISMA and subscribe to the AggregateEU service by 20 April. The submitted demand will subsequently be aggregated and ultimately matched with sellers' bids through a tender. Each tendering round - every two months over the next 12-month period - will last approximately two weeks.
  • ACER (European Union Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators) announced on 4 April 2023 that it launched its daily LNG benchmark determined by the spread between the daily LNG price assessment for DES LNG Spot EU and the settlement price for the TTF Gas Futures front-month contract established by ICE Endex Markets B.V.
  • TotalEnergies LNG Services France said on 28 March 2023 that it was conducting a binding Open Season to market Le Havre LNG Terminal long-term capacities. 23 TWh (1.52 million tonnes) per year for five years (2023-2028) is offered.
  • Germany's Hanseatic Energy Hub (HEH) announced on 18 April 2023 that it had commissioned a consortium headed by Spain's Técnicas Reunidas to undertake EPC works on its planned in-land terminal in Stade. HEH said an FID is expected in summer 2023. The announcement says that the Hanseatic Energy Hub is a future-flexible modular system for the energy transition. LNG as well as green energy sources such as Bio-LNG and Synthetic Natural Gas (SNG) can be imported from 2027. The planned regasification capacity is 13.3 Bcm per year. The terminal and connection infrastructure are designed in such a way that a conversion to ammonia as a hydrogen-based energy source can take place in a modular fashion.
  • Poland's GAZ-SYSTEM announced on 6 April 2023 that it had completed a non-binding procedure in the period from 6 March to 20 March to identify the demand for additional regasification capacity of the FSRU Terminal in the Gulf of Gdańsk, as compared to the regasification capacity of 6.1 Bcm per year offered at the stage of the binding Open Season procedure.
  • Vitol announced on 3 April 2023 that on 2 April Vitol delivered the first LNG cargo into Finland's new Inkoo terminal. The cargo was ordered by Elenger. The cargo originates from the Venture Global Calcasieu Pass facility in the United States.
  • Russia's NOVATEK announced on 13 April 2023 that the company had obtained a Russian patent for its proprietary natural gas liquefaction technology called "Arctic Cascade Modified" (ACM), which builds upon NOVATEK's patented Arctic Cascade process already implemented at the Yamal LNG project's Train 4. The ACM liquefaction process is intended for the Company's large-scale LNG projects in the Arctic with a production capacity of 3 million tonnes per year LNG train.
  • The Prime Minister of Russia issued an order to approve the decision to sell 27.49999998621683% of the authorized capital of Sakhalin Energy to Novatek.


Other regions

  • QatarEnergy announced on 12 April 2023 a partnership agreement with China's Sinopec for the North Field East (NFE) expansion project. Sinopec will be a shareholder in one of the NFE joint venture companies. QatarEnergy will transfer to Sinopec a 5% interest in the equivalent of one NFE train with a capacity of 8 million tonnes per year.
  • Baker Hughes announced on 3 April 2023 an order to be booked in the first quarter of 2023 with QatarEnergy to supply two main refrigerant compressors (MRCs) for the North Field South (NFS) project.
  • TotalEnergies announced on 5 April 2023 that TotalEnergies and the Iraqi Government had defined the necessary conditions and mutual insurances to move forward with the Gas Growth Integrated Project (GGIP). The government and TotalEnergies have agreed on a 30% stake for the Basrah Oil Company (BOC) in the GGIP. TotalEnergies has invited QatarEnergy to take a 25% stake in the GGIP. The consortium will thus be composed of TotalEnergies (45%), BOC (30%) and QatarEnergy (25%). TotalEnergies said that the partners would recover flared gas on three oil fields in order to supply gas to power generation plants.
  • Marathon Oil Corporation announced on 30 March 2023 that through its affiliated company Marathon E.G. Holding Limited the company had signed a Heads of Agreement (HOA) with the Republic of Equatorial Guinea (E.G.) and Noble Energy E.G. Ltd, a Chevron company, to progress the next phases (Phases II and III) in the development of the Equatorial Guinea Regional Gas Mega Hub (GMH). Phase II involves processing Alba Unit (MRO 64% interest) gas, from January 2024, under new contractual terms following the legacy Henry Hub-linked Alba sales and purchase agreement expiration at the end of 2023.
  • According to Wison Offshore & Marine Limited, the hull steel-cutting ceremony was held on 31 March 2023 in China's Nantong Yard for Eni's second FLNG unit for deployment offshore Congo.


(Note: CCS: Carbon Capture and Storage, EPC: Engineering, Procurement and Construction, FEED: Front-End Engineering Design, FID: Final Invest Decision, FLNG: Floating Liquified Natural Gas, FOB: free-on-board, FSRU: Floating Storage Regasification Unit, HOA: Heads of Agreement SPA: Sale and Purchase Agreement)



Supprted by the Institute of Energy Economics Japan (IEEJ)