Indian liquefied natural gas imports dropped by almost 30 percent last month and the import bill was also half what it was in April 2019 as the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in a lockdown and affected trade activities.
LNG import for the month of April amounted 1.44. million tonnes, or around 20 cargoes, which was 29.4 percent lower than April 2019 when 2.04MT, or 29 cargoes, were delivered, according to provisional data from the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
The LNG deliveries to India came mainly from Qatar, Australia, the US and West Africa.
The cost of the April 2020 cargoes amounted to around $400 million compared with $800M in April 2019.
The Ministry said that gross production of natural gas for April 2020 was 2.161 billion cubic metres, a drop of 18.6 percent compared the same month a year ago when output totaled 2.656 Bcm.
The total of LNG imports has been rising to more than 350 cargoes a year as more infrastructure is constructed, including pipelines to reach more industrial and city-gas customers.
The main operating terminals on India’s West Coast are at Dahej, Hazira and Dabhol, near Mumbai.
The newest terminal at Mundra, north of Mumbai, and is now operational and awaiting more shipments.
There is additionally the Kochi facility in the southwest state of Kerala and one East Coast terminal at Kamarajar, 25 kilometres north of Chennai Port in Tamil Nadu, and also known as Ennore.
Indian LNG imports in March 2020 had increased by more than 20 percent to 2.12MT from 1.76MT in the same month of the previous year.
For the April-to-March 2019-2020 fiscal year, shipments rose by more than 17 percent to 24.9MT from 21.3MT in the previous fiscal year.
With the opening of the Mundra terminal, India now has 42.5 million tonnes per annum of regasification capacity.
Of the LNG import terminals in full commercial use, capacity utilisation at Dahej was 103.1 percent through March 2020 and total capacity is 17.5 MTPA.
At Hazira it was 97.96 percent from 5 MTPA, while at Dabhol it was 32.9 percent from 5 MTPA.
The utilization at the Kochi facility was 16.6 percent in March from 5 MTPA and at Kamarajar (Ennore) it was 9.0 percent from 5 MTPA.
The newest Mundra terminal had 29.63 percent capacity utilization from 5 MTPA of capacity.
The Mundra facility is co-owned by Gujarat State Petroleum Corp. and the Adani Group and is designed with two storage tanks.
India's import costs for the previous full 2019-2020 fiscal year fell to $9.5 billion from $10.3Bln in the previous 12-month period.