Australia's LNG exports rose to a record high of 7.3mn t in October, exceeding the previous record of 7.22mn t in January 2020, and reflects most of Australia's 10 LNG plants operating at or near capacity. The record volumes and higher prices also accounted for record LNG export receipts for the month, according to the latest official data.
October LNG volumes were 3.4pc above the 7.06mn t shipped in September, which was revised from the original estimate of 7.09mn t and above the 6.97mn t in October last year, according to trade data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) processed by GTT.
October's LNG exports included 2.06mn t from the port of Gladstone in eastern Australia. The three LNG plants at Gladstone accounted for around 28pc of total Australian shipments for the month and stood at a 10-month high for the port's LNG exports.
A further 1.68mn t were shipped from Port Dampier in Western Australia in October, down from 1.71mn t in September, according to data from the Pilbara Ports Authority. The 16.3mn t/yr North West Shelf (NWS) LNG and the 4.3mn t/yr Pluto LNG both ship through Port Dampier. October export volumes through Port Dampier reflect the plants operating at a utilisation rate of 98.2pc of combined nameplate capacity.
Combined shipments from Gladstone and Port Dampier totalled 3.74mn t. This implies that the remaining five LNG plants in Australia shipped 3.56mn t in October or 5pc above their combined monthly nameplate capacity of 3.39mn t.
Australia remained the top supplier of China's LNG imports in October, accounting for 2.47mn t or 40.1pc of China's total LNG receipts of 6.17mn t for the month.
Australian LNG shipments to Japan were lower in October from September.
The average export price for Australian LNG of $566.35/t in October rose from an average of $530.40/t in September and more than doubled from the average of $225.34/t in October 2020, and was the highest average monthly export price since the ABS started publishing monthly LNG export volumes in July 2015. This was based on a US-Australian dollar exchange rate of $0.7403 for October used by the ABS.
The volume of LNG combined with the relatively high export prices accounted for Australian LNG export receipts of A$5.58bn in October.
The Argus-assessed LNG fob Australia averaged $35.16/t in October, up from $24.30/t in September, and six times above the October 2020 monthly average of $5.86/t and was also the highest assessed Australian LNG export price for a monthly period since the ABS started publishing monthly LNG export volumes.