China’s LNG imports down 12 percent in January-February

China’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports dropped by 11.9 percent in January-February when compared to the same period last year, according to customs data.

Data from the General Administration of Customs shows that the country received about 11.12 million tonnes during the first two months of this year.

In February, China received 5.21 million tonnes of LNG, up by 8.2 percent when compared to the last year, while in January LNG imports dropped by 24.2 percent to 5.91 million tonnes.

Including pipeline gas, China’s gas imports dropped by 9.4 percent in January-February to 17.93 million tonnes.

China’s pipeline gas imports decreased by 5.2 percent in January-February to 6.81 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 has started to relax Covid-related measures in December last year and spot prices dropped considerably this year.

Several recent reports suggest that Chinese firms are interested to buy spot LNG volumes due to lower prices.

Japan’s LNG imports dropped by 10 percent in February to about 6.40 million tonnes.

During the first two months of this year, Japan took about 13.22 million tonnes of LNG, some 2.10 million tonnes more than China.

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