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China becomes top global LNG importer

The country has overtaken Japan as Covid restrictions are eased and demand recovers

China’s imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) increased in November versus January, according to Chinese customs data reported on Sunday, thus propelling the country past Japan to become the globe’s leading importer of the fuel.   

The volume of LNG supplied to China totaled 6.42 million tons in November, although this is below the 6.9 million tons it imported last year. Japan, meanwhile, saw inbound shipments of 5.09 million tons in the same month of this year.

 However, China’s LNG imports of 56.88 million tons for the first 11 months of this year were 20.1% below last year’s totals for the same period, according to official data.  

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READ MORE: China reaps profits from record LNG tanker orders – Reuters

China first overtook Japan to become the world’s largest LNG consumer in 2021, but since the beginning of 2022 imports have decreased due to Covid restrictions across the country.  

Large volumes of LNG arrive in China from Russian plants in the Far East and Arctic region.

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December 20, 2022 at 10:53AM
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