SINGAPORE, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Demand for liquefied natural gas in the Asian market hasn't materialized as expected, analysis published Thursday by Wood Mackenzie finds.
Giles Farrer, principal analyst for the global LNG market at Wood Mackenzie, said production of LNG was on the rise, but the demand wasn't matching the increase as the industry moves past its 50th anniversary.
"The big surprise was that Asian LNG demand was much lower than expected. Demand in emerging markets, like China, failed to grow to the extent anticipated and demand in the established South Korean market fell considerably," he said in the report.
The International Energy Agency said LNG, a super-cooled and denser product with more deliverability options, represents "a golden opportunity" for Asian economies. Asian demand for natural gas is expected to grow steadily, however, through the end of the decade, according to analysis last year.
Wood Mackenzie said low demand from Asian economies pushed LNG prices lower last year, dropping from $20 million per British Thermal Unit in mid-February to less than $10 per million btu by late November. The report finds the market price for LNG has followed the steady decline in crude oil prices.
Output, meanwhile, is on the rise. Wood Mackenzie said global LNG production was up around 5 million tons per year to 245 million tons. More than 50 new vessels were chartered to carry LNG last year, topping the previous record of 52 set in 2011.