China’s January-June LNG imports drop almost 21 percent

China’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports declined by 20.8 percent in the first half of this year, according to customs data.

Data from the General Administration of Customs shows the country received about 31.26 million tonnes in the period under review, compared to about 39.78 million tonnes last year.

China’s LNG imports dropped this year mainly due to very high spot LNG prices and Covid lockdowns, which affected economic activity.

In June, China took some 4.82 million tonnes of LNG, down 26 percent when compared to the same month last year. June imports dropped slightly when compared to the prior month’s 4.93 million tonnes.

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

Pipeline imports rose by 11.3 percent to 22.32 million tonnes, while in June these imports increased by 11.5 percent to 3.90 million tonnes, the data said.

China became the world’s largest LNG importer last year, overtaking Japan, but the latter regained the title this year. Japan is yet to release official data for LNG imports in June.

During the January-May period, Japan imported some 31.72 million tonnes of LNG, or more than five million tonnes of LNG compared to China’s volumes.

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