China’s Jan-Feb natural gas import growth slows to 2.8% in 2020 from 18.5% in 2019
Growth in China’s natural gas imports, including piped gas and LNG, slowed to 2.8% over January-February from 18.5% a year ago as the coronavirus outbreak further exacerbated a demand slowdown caused by a warmer winter.
China imported a total of 17.8 million mt, or 24.55 Bcm, of natural gas in the first two months of 2020, compared with 17.3 million mt in the same period last year, preliminary General Administration of Customs data released Saturday showed. GAC did not release monthly data for January and February.
The rapid spread of COVID-19 has led to massive disruption in manufacturing and industrial activity in China, causing a steep decline in downstream gas demand.
Domestic natural gas demand is expected to have fallen sharply during this period, resulting in very high inventories at many LNG receiving terminals, according to local market sources.
Up to 25 vessels were reported to be floating outside receiving terminals in China on February 24, S&P Global Platts reported earlier, citing trading sources.