JAPAN: MORE GAS
Japan's imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) remained at a near-record average of 11.85 billion cubic feet a day (Bcf/d) in the first eight months of 2014, according to recently released trade statistics from Japan's Ministry of Finance. Increased LNG imports are occurring amid continued shutdowns of nuclear power plants following the March 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and the subsequent increased use of fossil fuels in power generation. Higher levels of LNG imports in 2014 are underpinned by continuous growth in gas-fired power generation, the ready availability of spot LNG supply because of weak demand in Europe and Asia (particularly in South Korea) and lower short-term prices.
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