LNG demand is expected to increase by four billion cubic meters this winter, led by growth in China, Japan and South Asia.

That’s according to findings presented as part of a recent video conference organised by the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), titled ‘Winter Outlook for Global LNG – Cautiously Optimistic’.

Hosted last week, the event featured a panel of experts, including Anne Kat Brevik, Director of LNG Research & Forecasts, Laura Page, Lead LNG Analyst, and Mr Hengky, Senior Analyst (LNG) from information provider Refinitiv.

“We expect LNG demand to increase by four billion cubic meters this winter and that’s led by growth in China, Japan and South Asia,” the representatives said.

“LNG supply is expected to grow by three billion cub meters, led by the US. And when we put together demand and supply forecast, we expect the LNG market to be slightly tighter than last winter by one billion cubic meters.”

Several risks still remain in the forecasts, such as winter temperatures and the pandemic.

Recognising the importance of scientifically drawn forecasts, HE Secretary General Yury Sentyurin, said, “In many ways, COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of data so we can map and understand the economic and social effects of pandemic-related measures.”

The conference’s audience further heard that accurate planning for the period ahead depends on not just weather and the pandemic but also factors such as government policies that can often change the course of LNG demand and pricing.