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China’s May LNG imports from Malaysia hit record high; up 42% on year

China imported a record high 861,451 mt of LNG from Malaysia in May, up 42.3% year on year, the latest data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

The May LNG imports from Malaysia surged 188.6% from 298,481 mt in April, the data showed.

The highest monthly import volume from Malaysia previously was in January at 832,471 mt, the customs historical data showed.

Over January-May, China imported 2.7 million mt of LNG from Malaysia, up 32% year on year, the customs data showed.

Meanwhile, Australia remained the top supplier of LNG to China in May at 2.3 million mt, up 29.6% year on year, but down 16.8% month on month, according to the customs data.

In the first five months of this year, China’s LNG imports from Australia stood at 11.25 million mt, up 37.8% year on year.

China imported a total 4.43 million mt of LNG in May, up 7.6% from 4.12 million mt a year ago, but down 2.4% month on month.

Over January-May, China imported a total 23.87 million mt of LNG, up 21% year on year.

PIPELINE IMPORTS MOVE DOWN

China’s pipeline natural gas imports from Turkmenistan moved lower by 5.9% year on year to 2.02 million mt in May, and the volume was also down 2.3% month on month, the data showed.

Over the first five months of the year, Turkmenistan supplied 10.63 million mt of natural gas to China via pipeline, down 1.2% from the same period a year earlier.

Meanwhile, the country’s pipeline natural gas imports from Kazakhstan were 506,103 mt in May, up 40.1% year on year, and also up 4.4% month on month, the customs data showed.

China imported a total of 3.13 million mt of natural gas via pipelines in May, down 4.3% from 3.27 million mt a year ago, but edged up 0.5% month on month.

Over January-May, China imported a total 15.56 million mt of natural gas via pipelines, up 4.2% year on year, according to the customs data.

CONSUMPTION CONTINUES TO GROW

China imported a total 7.56 million mt of natural gas in May, comprising LNG and pipeline natural gas, up 2.3% from 7.39 million mt a year earlier. The growth was mainly driven by stronger LNG imports during the month, the customs data showed.

On a month-on-month basis, May natural gas imports were down 1.2% from 7.65 million mt in April.

Over the first five months of this year, China imported a total 39.43 million mt of natural gas, up 13.8% 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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