China's 2017 LNG Imports Up 46% on Year
China’s LNG imports in December 2017 jumped year on year, continuing the trend that started early last year.
According to customs data released January 23, China imported 5.03 million metric tons of LNG last month, up 24% year on year.
Full year January-December 2017 LNG imports to China were a record 38.13mn metric tons, up over 46% on the 2016 volume. China consequently is understood to have edged ahead of South Korea to become the world's second largest LNG import nation, after Japan, although Korean official data have yet to be published.
The spike in Chinese LNG imports last year was mainly driven by government’s push to force household and industries to switch from coal to cleaner fuel such as natural gas.
China’s LNG and pipeline gas imports too have hit record high in December. Asia’s biggest economy imported a record 7.89mn metric tons of gas last month, up 30% year on year. During the January-December period, the accumulated import of natural gas was 68.57mn mt, up 27% year on year.