LNG importing countries 2018

In 2018, Japan imported the largest volume of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world. In that year, they imported some 113 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas, which equated to a 26.2 percent share of the total global imports of LNG.

Natural gas and LNG

Liquefied natural gas is natural gas that has been turned into liquid state so that it can be transported and stored more easily and cost-effectively. Natural gas is mainly comprised of methane with a little bit of ethane. As a non-toxic gas, it is also odorless and colorless. Natural gas is turned into a liquid by decreasing the temperature of the gas to -260 degrees Fahrenheit (-160 degrees Celsius). Even though LNG is the cleanest burning fossil fuel, its combustion emits the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide nevertheless.

Global LNG trade

Since 1970, the LNG trade volume worldwide has been steadily increasing. In 2018, the global trade volume of LNG was 431 billion cubic meters, a slight increase from the previous year. Qatar was the world’s leading LNG exporter in 2018. In that year, they exported 104.8 billion cubic meters of LNG. Following Qatar was Australia, with exports amounting to 91.8 billion cubic meters.

Major importing countries of liquefied natural gas in 2018

Imports in billion cubic meters
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Release date

June 2019



Survey time period


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