Demand had already been on the rise since last year amid a natural gas shortage and as electricity use surged after pandemic restrictions were rolled back.
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Exiting Russian LNG projects would force Japan to source replacement fuel from the already tight spot market, threatening to boost prices that are trading near record-high levels.
The natural gas market’s delicate balance is crumbling, putting the global economy under further strain as nations struggle to secure enough fuel.
Most LNG importers around the world won’t buy Russian cargoes out of fear of future sanctions or damage to reputation, but some Chinese firms are willing to take that risk.
The depreciation of the yen will amplify soaring energy and commodity prices that are hurting both companies and consumers.
Until now, traders haven’t seen a purchase tender that has been so specific in avoiding the country.
The world’s third-largest economy has been running on a thinner supply of electricity since the triple meltdown at Fukushima in March 2011 shut its massive fleet of nuclear reactors.
Some countries don’t have the fiscal buffer enjoyed by wealthier peers and can’t count on increased revenue from their own exports.
Unless the situation with Russia drastically changes, Japanese companies and consortia have decided to keep their stakes in Sakhalin 1, Sakhalin 2 and Arctic LNG 2 projects.
The country has also received 10% fewer LNG deliveries in the one-month period through Monday compared to last year.