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    Chinese Gas Demand Contracts 1% in Jan


China is the world's biggest gas importer.

by: Joseph Murphy

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Asia/Oceania, Premium, Political, Supply/Demand, News By Country, China

Chinese Gas Demand Contracts 1% in Jan

Chinese gas consumption was down 1% yr/yr in January at 31.6bn m3, according to data published by the government-backed Chongqing Petroleum and Gas Exchange on February 17.

The contraction was the first in January in at least two years. Expectations are widespread that Chinese gas demand will be lower for the first few months of this year because of the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

Demand among industrial users was down 14% yr/yr last month, the exchange noted, while power utilities reduced their consumption by 10%. This more than offset an increase in usage by city gas consumers and chemical producers.

China is yet to publish official data on its gas imports for January, although Chinese buyers have reportedly invoked forces majeures in their LNG contracts to try to delay purchases.

"Compared to pipeline gas, LNG is more flexible and affected more directly by reduced industrial activities and lack of labour," Rystad Energy Xi Nan told NGW

China, the world's biggest gas importer, buys most of its LNG from Australia and Qatar. It is also supplied with pipeline gas from primarily central Asia, as well as Myanmar and Russia.