According to Reuters, China has held onto its position as the world’s second largest importer of LNG. Japan still remains in first place, and South Korea in third after it was overtaken by China in 2017.
China’s LNG imports increased by 25% in December 2018, compared to December 2017. This activity set a new monthly record of 6.29 million t, beating the previous record of 5.99 million t which was recorded in November 2018.
Across 2018 as whole, China’s imports grew 41% from 2017 levels to reach a total 53.78 million t – another record.
China’s 2018 LNG buying surge is widely credited as being fuelled by concerns regarding winter fuel shortages. The Chinese government has continued to back a large domestic shift from coal to gas heating, however in recent weeks buying has slowed down as winter temperatures have been significantly milder than expected.
Looking ahead into 2019, IHS Markit and Wood Mackenzie are reportedly forecasting slower growth at around 15 to 20%, as the Chinese government is expected to scale down its coal to gas transition scheme to a more moderate level. Evidence of this is already becoming evident as the country begins to re-sell surplus cargoes, rather than stockpile greater quantities as emergency supplies.
Read the article online at: https://www.lngindustry.com/liquid-natural-gas/23012019/china-remains-second-largest-lng-buyer/