India to Overtake China to Become Largest LPG Importer

India will be shipping 2.4 million tons LPG in December 2017 as opposed to 2.3 million tons by China.


India’s import of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) will exceed China’s in December this year, making it the largest importer in the world, according to shipping data by Thomson Reuters Eikon.

India will receive 2.4 million tons LPG in December, ahead of China, which will be shipping 2.3 million tons. India’s LPG consumption has been boosted by its push towards the fuel as opposed to wood and animal dung fires.

However, India’s monthly average imports in 2017 were about 1.7 million tons, still behind China’s 2.2 million ton. India has overtaken Japan, which is now placed third with 1 million tons.

“The growth in India is amazing. The fact that they have grown from 140 million subsidized household connections in 2015 to 181 million now is very impressive,” Ted Young, the Chief Financial Officer at Dorian LPG, told Reuters.

LPG is used for cooking, transport and the petrochemical industry in India. In 2016-17, the use of kerosene, which is used for lighting and cooking purposes in rural areas, decreased by 21 per cent to 5.3 million tons due to the push for LPG use, according to Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell, an arm of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

In 2016-17, consumption of LPG increased 9.8 per cent to 21.5 million tons. During the same period, state-owned Indian Oil Corp. (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp. and Hindustan Petroleum Corp. issued 3.25 crore new connections, including 2 crore connections under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, the “LPG-for poor women” scheme. It was the highest number of new connections provided in any year.

There will be a 10 per cent increase in 2017-18 in LPG consumption, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas said, Hindu BusinessLine reported.

The biggest supplier of LPG to India is the Middle East region, but the United States also joined in early 2017. From 50,000 tons, it is now shipping 100,000 tons, but that is still only one tenth of what the Middle East exports to India.

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