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South Korea’s LNG Inventories Rise to 80% of Storage Capacity

Jan. 16 (Bloomberg) -- South Korea’s inventories of liquefied natural gas rose to 80 percent of storage capacity in December as warmer weather reduced demand for heating in the country, according to two officials at state-run Korea Gas Corp.

Stockpiles are up from 60 to 70 percent in the same month a year earlier, according to the officials, who declined to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak to the media. Korea can store about 3.97 million metric tons of the fuel, including 3.6 million tons held by the state utility and 365,000 tons by Posco, according to data from the companies.

The average temperature in Seoul was minus 0.9 degree Celsius (30.4 degrees Fahrenheit) in December, compared with minus 1.3 degrees Celsius in the same month in 2010, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration.

Imports of the fuel by South Korea, the world’s second-biggest buyer, rose 47 percent from a year earlier to 4.81 million tons in December, according to data on the Korea Customs Service’s website.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski at akwiatkowsk2@bloomberg.net

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