Reuters are reporting that China’s imports of LNG hit a monthly record of 5.03 million t in December, as purchases spiked to cover a surge in demand under Beijing’s push to replace coal with gas for households and plants.
December shipments came in 24% ahead of November’s previous record of 4.056 million t, and were up 35% from a year earlier.
Full-year imports jumped 46% compared with 2016 to a record 38.13 million t, overtaking South Korea as the world’s second-largest buyer for the fuel after Japan.
Beijing’s drive to heat millions of homes and power thousands of factories in northern China with gas has caused a spike in demand, leading companies to pull in cargoes from suppliers as diverse as Nigeria, Angola and Norway.
Meanwhile the data showed aviation fuel exports rose 7.9% to a record 1.69 million t from December 2016 – when the previous record of 1.57 million t was set – and 17% from 1.45 million t in November.
Full-year exports were up 0.3% at 13.13 million t.
China’s December gasoline exports were up 29% at 1.23 million t, compared with 1.042 million in November. The total for 2017 was up 8.5% from the previous year at 10.51 million t.
Diesel exports rose 12% in December from the same month a year earlier to 1.99 million t, just shy of November’s record of 2.026 million. 2017 exports were up also 12% at 17.19 million t.
China’s total exports of refined fuel touched an all-time monthly high of 6.17 million t in December, spurred by generous government quotas granted to state oil firms to ship the surplus fuel.
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