Chinese LNG Imports to Drop 5.2% This Year: Report
Chinese LNG demand this year is expected to fall 5.2% yr/yr to 58.1mn metric tons owing to coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, according to a report published by Icis on April 7.
Other major Asian importers, Japan and South Korea will also see a dip in demand this year. Japanese imports are expected to fall to 76.2mn mt, down 1.1% yr/yr while South Korean imports are likely to drop to 38.5mn mt, down 4.7% yr/yr, Icis said.
"The forecast weakness in over half of the world's LNG import market for 2020 will only exasperate the current oversupply and keep the pressure on key natural gas and LNG prices," said Icis LNG analyst Tom Marzec-Manser. "While Japan and South Korea have been contracting as LNG markets for a few years, a shrinking Chinese market will cause major headaches for those producers looking to find demand for their increasing output."
In 2019, China, Japan and South Korea collectively imported 179mn mt of LNG, which was 51% of the 354mn mt imported globally. In 2021, Icis expects China to import 64mn mt of LNG, Japan to import 73mn mt and South Korea to import 39.3mn mt.