Did Europe’s surging LNG demand in 2022 boost global spot LNG trade? Actually no.
Preliminary ICIS cargo-by-cargo LNG analysis indicates that the share of spot LNG fell in 2022 to around 27%, down from 32% in 2021.
The number of cargoes sold on a spot basis was very similar to 2021 – but with less spot demand from China, South Asia and the Americas due to high prices. Against this was an increase from European markets.
But the volume of trade under long-term contract rose sharply last year, especially into China, which pushed its share to 71%, up from 65% in 2021.
A significant portion of additional LNG into Europe came from portfolio sellers bringing into their own terminals, alongside spot sales.
We’ll be doing more granular analysis on the data over the next week.