Japan, one of the world’s leading LNG buyers, is shifting its focus on securing energy supplies to next year as its inventories have been boosted by lower demand and the market is expected to become increasingly tight as Europe continues replacing Russian natural gas imports.

“Winter of 2023 is looming on many buyers’ minds, as the LNG market is expected to tighten on the back of Europe’s growing demand as more LNG import capacity is installed and China returns to spot markets,” said Vortexa Ltd.’s Felix Booth, head of LNG.

But Japan is still relatively well placed next year, with a healthy number of term contracts largely shielding buyers in the country from volatile spot prices, he told NGI. 

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