Liquefied natural gas (LNG) stocks held by Japan's major electricity utilities will likely increase towards the peak winter demand season, the industry ministry said on Wednesday, after stocks fell to their lowest since early 2021.

LNG stocks have been declining since May as a long, hot summer boosted the use of air-conditioners, lifting demand for power and fuels.

LNG inventories held by major Japanese power companies, a key indicator of the country's stock levels, were down to 1.56 million metric tons as of Sept. 24, data released by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) showed.