• 3 minutes e-car sales collapse
  • 6 minutes America Is Exceptional in Its Political Divide
  • 11 minutes Perovskites, a ‘dirt cheap’ alternative to silicon, just got a lot more efficient
  • 10 hours GREEN NEW DEAL = BLIZZARD OF LIES
  • 5 days Does Toyota Know Something That We Don’t?
  • 5 days World could get rid of Putin and Russia but nobody is bold enough
  • 20 hours America should go after China but it should be done in a wise way.
  • 7 days China is using Chinese Names of Cities on their Border with Russia.
  • 8 days Russian Officials Voice Concerns About Chinese-Funded Rail Line
  • 8 days OPINION: Putin’s Genocidal Myth A scholarly treatise on the thousands of years of Ukrainian history. RCW
  • 8 days CHINA Economy IMPLODING - Fastest Price Fall in 14 Years & Stock Market Crashes to 5 Year Low
  • 7 days CHINA Economy Disaster - Employee Shortages, Retirement Age, Birth Rate & Ageing Population
  • 8 days Putin and Xi Bet on the Global South
  • 8 days "(Another) Putin Critic 'Falls' Out Of Window, Dies"
  • 9 days United States LNG Exports Reach Third Place
  • 9 days Biden's $2 trillion Plan for Insfrastructure and Jobs

Japan Imports Record Level Of LNG, Coal

Japan reported that it imported record levels of coal and liquefied natural gas for the fiscal year that ended in March.

Japan has been forced to import vast amounts of fossil fuels to make up for an energy shortfall caused by its decision to shutter nearly all of the country’s 54 nuclear reactors after the March, 2011 earthquake.

The country was already the world’s largest importer of LNG before the disastrous meltdown at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, but has steadily increased imports since the crisis. Before the disaster, nuclear power accounted for one-third of Japan’s electric power generation.

Through March 2014, Japan’s LNG purchases rose to 87.73 million tonnes, up 1 percent from the previous year. Japan’s coal imports saw an even greater increase, rising by 5 percent to 111.52 million tonnes. The prodigious level of imports has contributed to record trade deficits over the last few years, hitting a new high of $134.45 billion in the most recent fiscal year.

The drag on the Japanese economy from fossil fuel imports has fed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s desire to restart many of the nation’s nuclear power plants. His government has undertaken a safety review of power plants around the country in an effort to accelerate restarts.

Related Article: Japan’s Uncertain Energy Future

But an April 1 Reuters report suggested that fewer than one-third of the total number of nuclear reactors would actually be able to be restarted, due to the high cost of new safety standards and upgrades. In that case, Japan’s dependence on imported fossil fuels would remain high.

Japan’s appetite for LNG after Fukushima caused a spike in Asian spot prices, which have remained elevated for years. The high price Japan is willing to pay has U.S. drillers and exporters scrambling to build LNG export capacity. But a return to nuclear power would put downward pressure on LNG and coal prices, as demand would ease.

ADVERTISEMENT

By James Burgess of Oilprice.com



Join the discussion | Back to homepage



Leave a comment

Leave a comment

EXXON Mobil -0.35
Open57.81 Trading Vol.6.96M Previous Vol.241.7B
BUY 57.15
Sell 57.00
Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News