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China becomes new number one natural gas importer

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LNG Industry,

According to the latest Reuters report, China has now surpassed Japan as the world’s leading importer of natural gas.

Between January and October 2018, China imported 72.06 million t of natural gas (via pipeline or as LNG). This figure is a third higher than the same period in 2017. This is largely due to its government’s continued efforts to reduce pollution by switching to environmentally friendly fuels.

In comparison, Japan imported 69.35 million t of natural gas over the same period (all as LNG). This is a decrease of 17% for the same 10 months in 2017. Japan’s decline in imports is linked to the re-activation of many of its nuclear reactors.

Looking to the future, China is expected to see further growth in its natural gas imports of approximately 10%, whereas Japan’s import quantities are expected to decline further.

China still lies behind Japan purely in terms of LNG imports, however, having overtaken South Korea for second place earlier this year, it seems unlikely to be long before China reaches the top spot in this category as well. Industry experts suggest it could happen in the early 2020s.

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