According to Bloomberg, China's General Administration of Customs recently confirmed what LNG industry insiders have been speculating for weeks – China has passed South Korea as the world's second largest importer of LNG.
Customs data shows that China imported 38.1 million t of LNG in 2017, compared to South Korea's 37.6 million t. This contrasts to 2016 when South Korea imported 33.5 million t to China's 26.1 million t.
China's surge in demand has been driven by government efforts to improve air quality. One of the major schemes undertaken has been the transfer of millions of homes from coal power to gas. Gas consumption and importation is expected to continue to rise as these efforts persist.
Looking to the future, China could overtake Japan as the world's number one LNG importer as soon as 2025, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance forecasts.
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