Europe’s hefty natural gas storage and diminished natural gas demand has led to months of decline in LNG imports, but global competition still presents an upside price risk for winter in a tightening market.

European LNG imports dropped from May to June after peaking at 9.50 million tons (Mt) in April. However, the month-on-month decline in European liquified natural gas imports has followed a typical seasonal trend, according to Energy Aspects, with import levels tracking broadly to the same period last year.

“LNG imports have fallen month-on-month more because of a seasonal decline in gas demand during the summer, rather than because of a lack of injection demand, with gas flows into storage actually stronger in May-June than in April,” Energy Aspects’ Senior LNG...