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China's rising LNG demand to stem global glut

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LNG Industry,

Reuters are reporting that China's soaring demand for LNG is sparking industry hopes that a supply overhang causing a slump in prices will end sooner than initially anticipated.

China's imports of LNG in January rose 39.7% from a year earlier to 3.44 million t.

It was the second-highest monthly import level, behind a record 3.73 million t set in December.

The steep growth rate in 2016 imports have pushed China past South Korea to become the world's second-largest importer of LNG.

The LNG industry is banking on China's growing demand to end a global supply overhang triggered by a wave of new production especially in Australia and the US. The glut has driven Asian spot LNG prices down by almost 70% since their 2014 peak to US$6.40 per million British thermal units.

China's growing demand means that supply and demand in the LNG market could come into balance by around 2021 – 2022.

Beyond China, producers hope that rising demand in South and Southeast Asia will also help soak up the wave of new production.

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