South Korea’s January Liquefied Gas Imports Decline 41% as Prices Increase

South Korean liquefied natural gas imports fell 41 percent from a year earlier in January, while the average price paid climbed 31 percent.

The North Asian nation, the world’s second-biggest buyer of LNG, bought 2.89 million metric tons of the power-station fuel last month, compared with 4.93 million tons a year earlier, data on the Korea Customs Service’s website showed today. Imports totaled 4.77 million tons in December.

South Korea, which imports almost all its natural gas, paid $1.99 billion, or $690.2 a ton, for January purchases, compared with $2.61 billion, or $528.77 a ton, a year earlier, the data showed.

The nation buys most of the fuel under multiyear contracts from countries including Qatar, Oman and Indonesia. Last month’s purchases included 263,923 tons bought on the spot market for an average $752.15 a ton from countries including Nigeria, Trinidad & Tobago and the U.S., today’s data showed. State-run Korea Gas Corp. (036460) is the nation’s biggest importer of the fuel.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sangim Han in Seoul at sihan@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Amit Prakash at aprakash1@bloomberg.net

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