China’s LNG imports hit record high in November in shifts to cleaner energy: customs

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/12/23 17:02:58

A port in Lianyungang, East China's Jiangsu Province, on December 8 Photo: VCG

China's liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports hit a record high in November amid surging gas demand for winter heating and the country's effort to shift from coal to clean energy sources.

It now sheds light on a potentially huge market that the US - the world's biggest producer and exporter of LNG - has missed because of its trade friction with China.

In November, LNG imports totaled 5.99 million tons hitting a new record, rising 48.5 percent year-on-year, according to figures from the General Administration of Customs released over the weekend. The previous record was 5.18 million tons set in January this year, according to media reports.

In the first 11 months of 2018, LNG imports increased 43.6 percent year-on-year to 47.52 million tons, customs statistics showed. In 2017, China surpassed South Korea to become the world's second-largest LNG importer after Japan, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

China bought 3.6 million tons of LNG from the US last year, making the country the second-largest supplier of LNG after Australia.

But China's imports of the liquefied fuel from the US took a dive starting in August this year and nearly stopped in October as China slapped a 10 percent tariff on US LNG amid tit-for-tat trade retaliations.

China is reportedly turning to Australia, Qatar and Malaysia for alternative LNG imports.

In addition to LNG, China's imports of soybeans declined 38 percent year-on-year to 5.38 million tons in November, customs statistics showed. Industry observers said the reduction in imports indicated subdued domestic demand after China rolled out measures to trim soybean meal use amid trade friction with the US - the top supplier of soybeans in the global market.

Two of China's largest agricultural importers resumed soybean purchases from the US last week after a trade truce between the world's two largest economies was reached earlier in December.

Posted in: ECONOMY

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