A new IHS report said that mainland China and the US are expected to be the leading import and export markets for liquefied natural gas (LNG) globally in 2022. The report, titled 'LNG Trade in 2021: Runaway Recovery', shows that the US is projected to claim the highest spot in 2022. In 2021, the country was the biggest source of LNG supply increase in 2021, contributing 25 M tonnes. Average utilization rate for the sites in the US rose to 98% in 3Q 2021 from 43% in 3Q 2020. Meanwhile, mainland China's LNG imports totalled 81 M tonnes in 2021, up by 12.3 M tonnes, or 18%, surpassing Japan where imports reached 75 M tonnes. More than 65 M tonnes/y of firm, long-term contracts were finalized in 2021, exceeding the earlier record of 61 M tonnes/y in 2013. Among buyers, mainland China was considerably the biggest specified end-market, with Chinese buyers finalizing about 25 M tonnes/y of firm long-term transactions. In Asia, spot prices of LNG rose to almost $30/mmBtu for a few weeks in Jan 2021. At end-2021, prices reached $40/mmBtu. In 2021, European shipments of LNG dropped by 9%, or 7 M tonnes, to 77.2 M tonnes. The volumes exceeded the average import level of the region, which was at 30-40 M tonnes, during earlier years of LNG market tightness (2012-2018). A table shows the IHS Markit's estimate of LNG trade in 2021. Original Source: Chemical Weekly, http://www.chemicalweekly.com/.