China’s LNG imports continue to rise

China’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports rose for the fifth month in a row in June, according to customs data.

Data from the General Administration of Customs shows that the country received about 5.96 million tonnes in June, a rise of 24.4 percent when compared to the same month last year.

China imported 33.44 million tonnes of LNG during January-June, up by 7.2 percent compared to the same period last year, the data shows.

In May, China’s LNG imports rose 31.5 percent year-on-year to 6.41 million tonnes, while in April imports rose 10.3 percent to 4.77 million tonnes, and in March China received 5.36 million tonnes of LNG, up by 16.9 percent when compared to the last year.

February LNG imports increased by 8.2 percent to 5.21 million tonnes, while January LNG imports dropped by 24.2 percent to 5.91 million tonnes.

Including pipeline gas, China’s gas imports rose by 5.8 percent year-on-year to 56.63 million tonnes in January-June.

The country’s pipeline gas imports rose by 13.7 percent in June to 4.43 million tonnes, the data shows.

Japan was the world’s top liquefied natural gas importer in 2022, overtaking China, but both of the countries took fewer volumes when compared to the year before.

China received about 63.44 million tonnes of LNG last year, down 19.5 percent year on year, as Covid-19 lockdowns and high prices curbed demand for LNG in China.

However, China started to relax Covid-related measures in December last year and spot prices dropped considerably this year.

Japan has not yet released official data for June LNG imports.

During January-May Japan imported some 28.08 million tonnes of LNG, about 0.54 million tonnes more than China.

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