China’s January-May LNG imports down almost 20 percent

China’s liquefied natural gas imports declined by 19.6 percent in January-May due to high LNG spot prices and Covid lockdowns, which affected economic activity.

The country received about 26.49 million tonnes in the period under review, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.

China took some 4.93 million tonnes of LNG in May, down 28.1 percent when compared to the same month last year. May imports rose when compared to the prior month’s 4.35 million tonnes.

The customs data previously showed that January LNG imports dropped by 6.7 percent to 7.81 million tonnes, in February they decreased by 11.8 percent to 4.86 million tonnes, and in March imports dropped 17 percent to 4.63 million tonnes.

On the other side, China’s pipeline gas imports increased in January-May.

Pipeline imports rose by 11.3 percent to 18.42 million tonnes, while in May these imports increased by 26 percent to 4.15 million tonnes, the data said.

Japan continues to import more LNG

China became the world’s largest LNG importer last year, overtaking Japan.

However, Japan regained the title of the world’s largest LNG importer this year and increased its lead in May.

Last month Japan took about 5.76 million tonnes of LNG, about 0.8 million tonnes more than China.

During the five-month period, Japan imported some 31.72 million tonnes of LNG. This is now more than five million tonnes of LNG compared to China’s volumes.

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