China’s LNG imports rise 19.3 percent in January-February

China, the world’s largest liquefied natural gas importer, increased its LNG imports by 19.3 percent in January-February compared to the same period last year, according to customs data.

Data from the General Administration of Customs shows that the country received 13.20 million tonnes during the first two months of this year.

In January, China’s LNG import terminals took 7.25 million tonnes of LNG, up by 22.9 percent year-on-year, while in February LNG imports rose 15.2 percent to 5.95 million tonnes, the data shows.

Natural gas imports, including pipeline gas, during the first two months of this year reached about 22.10 million tonnes, rising 23.6 percent compared to 17.87 million tonnes in the same period in 2023.

Several reports previously said that Chinese buyers were buying spot LNG cargoes due to low JKM prices and also to rebuild inventory after the Lunar New Year holiday.

JKM for April settled at $8.521/MMBtu on Friday.

China’s LNG imports rose 12.6 percent in 2023, and the country overtook Japan as the world’s largest LNG importer.

The country received about 71.32 million tonnes in the January-December period.

This is a rise compared to about 63.44 million tonnes of LNG in 2022 when imports dropped due to very high spot LNG prices and Covid lockdowns.

China’s 2023 LNG imports dropped compared to record 78.93 million tonnes in 2021.

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