China’s LNG imports jump in May

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

Data from the General Administration of Customs shows that the country received about 6.41 million tonnes in May, a rise of 31.5 percent when compared to the same month last year.

China imported 27.54 million tonnes of LNG during January-May, up by 4.3 percent compared to the same period last year, the data shows.

In April, China’s LNG imports rose 10.3 percent year-on-year to 4.77 million tonnes, while 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 3.3 percent year-on-year to 46.29 million tonnes in January-May.

The country’s pipeline gas imports rose by 2 percent in May to 4.23 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.

China took more LNG in May compared to Japan’s LNG imports of 4.61 million tonnes, which dropped year-on-year.

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

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