(Updates with Nigeria imports in sixth paragraph.)
Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Imports of liquefied natural gas into South Korea, the world’s second-largest buyer of the fuel, rose 38 percent in January as demand for the fuel from power generators increased.
LNG shipments climbed to 3.98 million metric tons from 2.89 million a year earlier, data on the Korea Customs Service’s website showed today. The monthly volume slid from 4.25 million tons in December.
The total cost of the January purchases increased to $3.07 billion, compared with $1.99 billion in the same month a year earlier, the data showed. The average price paid per ton rose to $769.82 from $690.63, according to the data.
South Korea buys most of the cleaner-burning fuel under multi-year contracts from suppliers including Qatar, Indonesia and Oman. Last month’s purchases included 62,304 tons on the spot market costing about $721.85 a ton from Trinidad & Tobago and 64,758 tons for $801.69 a ton from Belgium, the data showed.
State-run Korea Gas Corp., the world’s biggest LNG buyer, said yesterday that its January sales rose 12 percent to 4.78 million tons from a year earlier.
The country imported 497,247 tons from Nigeria in January, compared with 58,075 tons in the same month last year. It paid $418.6 million, or about $16.19 per million British thermal units, a decrease from $17.71 in the same period in 2012.
The cost of LNG supplied from Yemen in January doubled to about $8.57 per million Btu from $4.11 last year, the data show. Yemeni shipments dropped by half to 147,030 tons from 306,795 tons.
Nuclear outages in South Korea provided additional demand for immediate LNG, or spot cargoes, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said in a report last month.
--With assistance from Sangim Han in Seoul. Editors: Alexander Kwiatkowski, Paul Gordon