Chinese LNG imports up 10% in April
Chinese LNG imports in April came in at 4.77mn metric tons, up 10.3% year/year, customs department data published on May 18 showed.
During the first four months of 2023, the total imports were 21.16mn metric tons, down 1.7% yr/yr. China’s pipeline gas imports in April were 4.21mn mt, up 12.6% yr/yr. The cumulative pipeline gas imports during January-April were 14.53mn mt, up 1.8% yr/yr.
The cumulative LNG imports in the first two months of the year were lower as high global LNG prices and Covid-related lockdowns hit domestic gas demand. Imports have rebounded in March and April owing to the resumption of economic activity and a decline in global gas prices.
Chinese LNG imports for the full year 2023 are likely to see a small increase, according to Reuters market analyst John Kemp. The import rebound could be smaller than some analysts anticipate because domestic gas production is rising strongly and the country has mostly completed its transition to natural gas for urban residents, Kemp wrote.