Chinese Gas Demand up in Jan Despite COVID-19
China’s apparent natural gas consumption in January was 29.65bn m3, marking an increase of 3.4% yr/yr, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said February 28.
There was widespread expectation that Chinese consumption would take a hit in January because of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. The government-backed Chongqing Petroleum and Gas Exchange reported on February 17 that gas demand was down 1% yr/yr during the month at 31.6bn m3, contrary to the NDRC figures.
In any case, consumption has grown at much faster rates in previous years, soaring by 18.1% yr/yr in January 2019, for example.
Gas output in January rose by 8.4% yr/yr to 16.66bn m3, while imports - both piped and in LNG form - fell 1.6% yr/yr to 13.35bn m3, the NDRC said. Imports were impacted by Chinese buyers invoking forces majeures in their LNG contracts to try to delay purchases, as widely reported.