China purchases increased LNG supplies from US to prevent domestic energy shortage

The total number of LNG imports heading into China from the US jumped significantly last month as the Asian powerhouse seeks to meet record energy demand for heating and industrial use.

Total shipments from the US reached 407,325 metric tonnes in November, up from zero in the corresponding month in 2016 and up 57% from October.

This sharp rise in LNG transactions makes the US, a relatively new seller of the gas, the world’s third largest supplier to China, behind established LNG producers Australia and Qatar.

Kerry Anne Shanks, a Singapore-based analyst at Wood Mackenzie, said: “US exports are ramping rapidly up, while China is the fastest growing importer. LNG trade between the two countries will continue to grow.”

China is struggling with a winter natural gas shortage this year and is also attempting to eradicate burning coal as an energy source as smog, a significant public health crisis, continues to envelop major cities.

Therefore, the nation has placed greater emphasis on developing strong renewable energy and LNG sectors to provide a stable and environmentally friendly energy supply.

However, while China’s domestic LNG industry is still rudimental there is a need to import gas to meet increased demand, with the US willing to take advantage of this.