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South Korea LNG Imports Drop 11% as Power Generators Use Less

March 15 (Bloomberg) -- Imports of liquefied natural gas into South Korea, the world’s second-largest buyer of the fuel, fell 11 percent in February, the biggest drop since October as power generators cut consumption.

Shipments dropped to 4.14 million metric tons from 4.64 million tons a year earlier, data on the Korea Customs Service’s website showed today. The monthly volume rose from 3.92 million tons in January.

The total cost of the February purchases declined to $3.23 billion from $3.45 billion in the same month a year earlier, the data showed. The average price paid per ton rose to $778.84 from $743.84 a year ago, according to the data.

South Korea buys most of its LNG under multiyear contracts from suppliers including Qatar, Indonesia and Oman. Last month’s purchases included a spot shipment of 61,632 tons from Equatorial Guinea at $885.80 a ton, the data showed.

State-run Korea Gas Corp., the world’s biggest LNG buyer, said March 12 that its February domestic sales of natural gas fell 6.8 percent to 3.91 million tons from a year earlier. Demand from electricity producers slipped 8.4 percent, it said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Sungwoo Park in Seoul at spark47@bloomberg.net; 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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