China's Nov LNG imports rise 3.5% on year to 1.8 million mt


China's LNG imports rose 3.47% year on year in November to 1.8 million mt, the highest level since July, General Administration of Customs data for the month showed.

The November imports were up 13.5% from October. The rise is in line with the onset of the peak winter season in the north of the country, when gas use traditionally increases with heating demand.

The bulk of deliveries appeared to have originated from term suppliers, particularly Qatar and Australia, as term prices ranging $5-$10/MMBtu remained attractive when compared to spot values, which averaged $6.70/MMBtu.

However, the most expensive cargo was provided by Russia's Sakhalin at $12.50/MMBtu, marking the second delivery in as many months from the facility and only the third for the year so far.

The cargo arrived at the CNOOC-operated Shanghai LNG terminal aboard the Sun Arrows, according to cFlow, Platts trade flow software. The country has no long-term contracts with Chinese buyers directly.

This appeared to be one of only two deliveries into Shanghai over the month, with volumes into the terminal down more than 70% year on year. The second appeared to have originated from Malaysia, cFlow data showed.

Qatar -- which has substantial term contracts with both CNOOC and PetroChina -- remained the largest supplier into the country, with imports in November up over 40% year on year. This pushed total Qatari imports to around 4.7 million mt in 2015 so far, according to Platts calculations.

Volumes from Australia were close to 600,000 mt, with the Queensland Curtis Island LNG facility sending the first cargo to the CNOOC-operated Tianjin FSRU in the north of the country since August. The volumes had arrived aboard the Methane Mickie Harper, cFlow showed.

CNOOC's Zhuhai terminal in the south of the country was the only regasification facility in China not to have received a cargo over the month, according to the data,

The LNG was bought at a weighted average price of $413/mt ($8/MMBtu).

So far this year, China has only imported 17.54 million mt of LNG, according to Platts calculations, well below its current contracted term volumes of around 38 million mt/year for 2015.

Source from : Platts