BY TSUYOSHI INAJIMA and YUJI OKADA
TOKYO -- Japan may rely on the US for 20% of its LPG imports
in 2018, up from 3.5% last year, according to an industry
Japan plans to buy about 3 million metric tons of the fuel
from the US in 2018, Tatsuhiko Yamasaki, the chairman of the
Japan LP Gas Association, told reporters in Tokyo.
The country depended on the Middle East for 85% of its 13.2
million tons of purchases last year, according to a report from
the group that represents 14 members.
Japanese companies including Astomos Energy Corp. are
boosting LPG imports from the US to take advantage of a surge
in North American shale gas production. Overseas shipments meet
about 70% of Japans requirement, with the remainder
covered by domestic oil refining.
LPG supply from the US more than doubled in the first half of
this year to 390,000 tons, data from the Finance Ministry in
Japan can improve its bargaining power and reduce fuel costs
by diversifying its sources of LPG supply, according to
Yamasaki, who is the president of Astomos Energy, a joint
venture between Idemitsu Kosan Co. and Mitsubishi Corp. The
country may also increase imports from Australia, Canada
and eastern Africa in the coming years, he said, declining to