According to Australia’s Department of Industry, Innovation, and Science, the nation is set to overtake Qatar as the largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world by next year.
The alternative fuel is also set to become Australia’s second-largest exported commodity, in regards to dollar value.
The nation’s current most expensive exported item is iron ore, demanding 31% of the nation’s total export value in 2017.
At the end of last year LNG ranked third, accounting for 11% of export value, following Metallurgical coal at 17%.
The Reserve Bank of Australia claims that LNG will help push the nation’s economic growth higher than 3% per annum during the coming years.
The largest buyer of the country’s fuel is Japan, followed by China, which together make up 77% of all exports.
“Japan is still the largest buyer of Australian LNG, but its dominant share has fallen considerably as Australia’s LNG exports have expanded,” stated Vivek Dhar, Ming and Energy Commodities Analyst at the Commonwealth Bank.
“China’s share of Australia’s LNG has grown significantly, claiming the lion’s share of Australia’s lift in LNG output since 2015.”
“China could still overtake Japan as Australia’s largest buyer of LNG by the end of the decade given how active Chinese buyers are in the spot market.”
“China’s demand appetite for LNG reflects the country’s ambitious plans to boost gas as a share of electricity from 5.3% in 2015 to 8.3-10% in 2020.”