ngas ngas ngas

Asia won’t be spared in the energy crisis

Commodities 5 minutes to read
Charu Chanana

Head of FX Strategy

Summary:  Asia has been vulnerable to rising energy prices, and will now face further headwinds in securing energy supplies as bidding wars with Europe heat up. Japan, China and South Korea are the biggest importers of LNG in the region, and Asia LNG prices have shot up to record highs, following the European gas prices higher. Power shortages in China and a re-embrace of nuclear in Japan are some of the early signals of what’s to come in the winter ahead.

From energy prices to energy supply

Despite lower dependence on Russian energy supplies, Asia won’t be spared from the winter energy crisis. Vulnerabilities stem from higher import dependence, which has been felt so far in higher fuel prices taking the headline inflation in the region to fresh highs. This has taken a heavy toll on the emerging and frontier markets, such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan which have been pushed to the brink of a collapse.

The next and the more severe risk is seen from shortage of energy supplies to Asia which raises the risk of blackouts, manufacturing halts, involuntary demand destruction, calculated energy rationing, depleting forex reserves and market volatility. The shortage of gas supplies in Europe from Russia is switching demand to LNG and dictating global spot LNG prices. Asia is losing LNG cargoes to Europe in a bidding war, and inflows to Asia are expected to drop for the rest of the year. The countries most exposed in Asia from the global shortage of energy supplies are Japan, China and South Korea. The International Energy Agency (IEA), which has forecast that Asian economies will account for almost half of global gas consumption to 2025, expects LNG to play a pivotal role in meeting rising gas demand in Asia.

LNG bidding wars: Asia vs. Europe

Asian spot LNG prices for the summer of 2022 are at their highest level on record, about 7x the average price in 2017-2021. India and China have posted some of the largest declines in LNG imports as the spot LNG inflows have largely evaporated. China's LNG imports in the first six months of 2022 are down more than 20% year on year, while India's spot LNG imports are down around 14% year on year. Japan and South Korea are also seeing declining LNG imports. Global exports have risen by just over 10 million tonnes to 234.83 million in the first seven months, even as LNG producers try to maximise output and minimise outages.

Strategic shifts remain likely

Much of the energy pain has been priced in for Europe, a lot may well be in store for EM assets. Meanwhile, there are reports that natural gas inventory levels in Europe are reaching near 80% capacity targets. LNG terminals in Poland may be coming online, and more countries like Germany itself may add LNG capacity as well. So even as Europe may survive the energy crisis, the same is hard to say for the weaker emerging markets.

Demand destruction is possibly the only way forward in Europe and Asia. Several provinces and cities in China have issued plans for "orderly" electricity consumption in 2022 to prepare for the risk of insufficient power supply in peak summer, and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has repeatedly called for maximizing domestic coal production and energy supply from all sources.

In the medium-to-long term, the lack of fuel supply will pose a serious threat to EM fundamental factors as it may slow down urbanization and improvements in living standards. This suggests investments in LNG infrastructure will likely ramp up to counter that threat, especially in China which remains committed to LNG use. Meanwhile, Japan’s new strategic energy plan to 2030 envisions the share of LNG in the power mix to fall to 20% by 2030 from the current 37%.

This means Asia will also diversify its energy sources and shift towards broader energy dependence on a variety of sources including the traditional coal and the renewable sources such as solar, hydro, wind, hydrogen etc. Japan’s re-embrace of nuclear is a first step towards more such measures to come in the region.

Quarterly Outlook 2024 Q3

Sandcastle economics

01 / 05

  • Macro: Sandcastle economics

    Invest wisely in Q3 2024: Discover SaxoStrats' insights on navigating a stable yet fragile global economy.

    Read article
  • Bonds: What to do until inflation stabilises

    Discover strategies for managing bonds as US and European yields remain rangebound due to uncertain inflation and evolving monetary policies.

    Read article
  • Equities: Are we blowing bubbles again

    Explore key trends and opportunities in European equities and electrification theme as market dynamics echo 2021's rally.

    Read article
  • FX: Risk-on currencies to surge against havens

    Explore the outlook for USD, AUD, NZD, and EM carry trades as risk-on currencies are set to outperform in Q3 2024.

    Read article
  • Commodities: Energy and grains in focus as metals pause

    Energy and grains to shine as metals pause. Discover key trends and market drivers for commodities in Q3 2024.

    Read article

Saxo Capital Markets (Australia) Limited prepares and distributes information/research produced within the Saxo Bank Group for informational purposes only. In addition to the disclaimer below, if any general advice is provided, such advice does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the appropriateness of trading any financial instrument as trading can result in losses that exceed your initial investment. Please refer to our Analysis Disclaimer, and our Financial Services Guide and Product Disclosure Statement. All legal documentation and disclaimers can be found at

The Saxo Bank Group entities each provide execution-only service. Access and use of Saxo News & Research and any Saxo Bank Group website are subject to (i) the Terms of Use; (ii) the full Disclaimer; and (iii) the Risk Warning in addition (where relevant) to the terms governing the use of the website of a member of the Saxo Bank Group.

Saxo News & Research is provided for informational purposes, does not contain (and should not be construed as containing) financial, investment, tax or trading advice or advice of any sort offered, recommended or endorsed by Saxo Bank Group and should not be construed as a record of our trading prices, or as an offer, incentive or solicitation for the subscription, sale or purchase in any financial instrument. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. All trading or investments you make must be pursuant to your own unprompted and informed self-directed decision. No Saxo Bank Group entity shall be liable for any losses that you may sustain as a result of any investment decision made in reliance on information on Saxo News & Research.

To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, such content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, would be considered as a marketing communication.

None of the information contained here constitutes an offer to purchase or sell a financial instrument, or to make any investments.Saxo Capital Markets does not take into account your personal investment objectives or financial situation and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the information nor for any loss arising from any investment made in reliance of this presentation. Any opinions made are subject to change and may be personal to the author. These may not necessarily reflect the opinion of Saxo Capital Markets or its affiliates.

Please read our disclaimers:
- Full Disclaimer (
- Analysis Disclaimer (
- Notification on Non-Independent Investment Research (

Saxo Capital Markets (Australia) Limited
Suite 1, Level 14, 9 Castlereagh St
Sydney NSW 2000

Contact Saxo

Select region


The Saxo trading platform has received numerous awards and recognition. For details of these awards and information on awards visit

Saxo Capital Markets (Australia) Limited ABN 32 110 128 286 AFSL 280372 (‘Saxo’ or ‘Saxo Capital Markets’) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saxo Bank A/S, headquartered in Denmark. Please refer to our General Business Terms, Financial Services Guide, Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determination to consider whether acquiring or continuing to hold financial products is suitable for you, prior to opening an account and investing in a financial product.

Trading in financial instruments carries various risks, and is not suitable for all investors. Please seek expert advice, and always ensure that you fully understand these risks before trading. Saxo Capital Markets does not provide ‘personal’ financial product advice, any information available on this website is ‘general’ in nature and for informational purposes only. Saxo Capital Markets does not take into account an individual’s needs, objectives or financial situation. The Target Market Determination should assist you in determining whether any of the products or services we offer are likely to be consistent with your objectives, financial situation and needs.

Apple, iPad and iPhone are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the US and other countries. AppStore is a service mark of Apple Inc.

The information or the products and services referred to on this website may be accessed worldwide, however is only intended for distribution to and use by recipients located in countries where such use does not constitute a violation of applicable legislation or regulations. Products and Services offered on this website is not intended for residents of the United States and Japan.

Please click here to view our full disclaimer.