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China’s June LNG imports climb 15% on year, Australian supply rises 32%

China imported a total 4.53 million mt of LNG in June, up 14.9% from 3.94 million mt a year ago and up 2.2% month on month, as the world’s second largest LNG importer continues to see the effects of recent economic policies aimed at moving households and industries from coal to gas.

Over January-June, China imported a total 28.37 million mt of LNG, up 19.3% year on year, the latest data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

China imported 2.39 million mt of LNG from Australia in June, up 31.9% year on year and 2.8% month on month, the customs data showed.

Australia is the top supplier of LNG to China in June and in the first half of 2019 as well, sending 13.62 million mt of LNG to China over January-June, the data showed.

China’s LNG imports from Qatar and Malaysia also increased 4.9% and 14% year on year to 564,950 mt and 517,586 mt, respectively, in June according to the data.

In the first half of 2019, China imported 4.2 million mt of LNG from Qatar, down 8.7% year on year, while LNG imports from Malaysia stood at 3.23 million mt, up 28.4% year on year, the customs data showed.

PIPELINE IMPORTS DRIFT LOWER

China’s pipeline natural gas imports from Turkmenistan continued to fall by 3.7% year on year to 2.03 million mt in June, but the volume was up slightly by 0.6% month on month, the data showed.

Over the first six months of the year, Turkmenistan supplied 12.67 million mt of natural gas to China via pipeline, down 1.6% from the same period a year earlier.

Meanwhile, the country’s pipeline natural gas imports from Kazakhstan stood at 349,275 mt in May, falling 18.8% year on year and 31% month on month, the customs data showed.

China imported a total of 2.99 million mt of natural gas via pipelines in June, down 10.3% from 3.33 million mt a year ago and down 4.4% month on month.

Over January-June, China imported a total 18.55 million mt of natural gas via pipelines, up 1.6% year on year, according to the customs data.

CONSUMPTION CONTINUES TO GROW

China imported a total 7.52 million mt of natural gas in June, which comprised 4.53 million mt of LNG and 2.99 million mt of pipeline natural gas, up 3.4% from 7.27 million mt a year ago.

The growth was mainly driven by stronger LNG imports during the month, the customs data showed.

On a month-on-month basis, June natural gas imports were down 0.5% from 7.56 million mt in May.

Over the first half of this year, China imported a total 46.92 million mt of natural gas, up 11.6% year on year, the data said.

The government targets to reduce air pollution and move to cleaner burning fuels, exemplified by its Blue Sky policy, and the five-year plan is expected to continue to drive the country’s gas consumption higher.
Source: Platts

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