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China's LNG Imports Hit Record High

December 23, 2018

Image: Cosco Shipping Energy Transportation Co.,Ltd

China's imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in November surged to a new record as the country briskly promotes the green fuel to clean its energy mix, said a report in Xinhua.

In November, LNG imports totaled 5.99 million tons hitting a new record, rising 48.5 percent year-on-year, according to figures from the General Administration of Customs released over the weekend. The previous record was 5.18 million tons set in January this year, according to media reports.

The report said that the country's appetite for natural gas has swelled rapidly in recent years, in part driven by environmental policies to replace dirtier coal-fired electricity generation. Other clean energy sources including wind and solar power are also being encouraged.

China surpassed the Republic of Korea to become the world's second-largest LNG importer in 2017, coming in second to Japan.

According to Global Times, China bought 3.6 million tons of LNG from the US last year, making the country the second-largest supplier of LNG after Australia. But now US  has missed because of its trade friction with China.

China's imports of the liquefied fuel from the US took a dive starting in August this year and nearly stopped in October as China slapped a 10 percent tariff on US LNG amid tit-for-tat trade retaliations.

China is reportedly turning to Australia, Qatar and Malaysia for alternative LNG imports.

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