China’s LNG imports drop in September

China’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports dropped in September after rising for seven months in a row, according to customs data.

Data from the General Administration of Customs shows that the country received about 5.69 million tonnes in September, a drop of 2.8 percent when compared to the same month last year.

LNG imports in September also dropped compared to 6.30 million tonnes in August, when they rose 34.1 percent year-on-year.

China imported 51.13 million tonnes of LNG during January-September, up by 10.1 percent compared to the same period last year, the data shows.

However, Chinese LNG imports fell last year due to due to very high spot LNG prices and Covid lockdowns, which affected economic activity.

LNG imports dropped compared to the January-September period in 2021 when China imported 58.48 million tonnes of LNG.

Including pipeline gas, China’s gas imports rose by 8.2 percent year-on-year to 87.76 million tonnes in the January-September period this year.

The country’s pipeline gas imports rose by 4.9 percent in September to 4.46 million tonnes, the data shows.

World’s largest LNG importer

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.

However, China has overtaken Japan in the first half of this year.

Japan’s Ministry of Finance has not yet released its data for LNG imports in September.

The country’s LNG imports dropped by 9.6 percent year-on-year in August to about 5.67 million tonnes.

During the January-August period, Japan imported some 43.38 million tonnes, down by about 2.18 million tonnes compared to China’s 45.51 million tonnes in the same period.

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