Asia Pacific: Trade

December 2016

Northeast Asian LNG imports will rise this winter – driven up by China and a bounce in import requirements in South Korea.

China’s LNG imports increased by 15% year on year in October. This is a relatively modest rate compared with recent months, but it still reflects robust increases in LNG flows. LNG imports will be crucial for China to meet its requirements over the coming months, particularly in the northeast where seasonal demand is already being boosted by a cold start to the winter. As demand rises it will outstrip supply growth, meaning the country will need more imports over the coming months. Spot cargoes make up a larger share of total LNG volumes in the northeast than they do in the south, and strong weather-related demand is expected to push up the number of additional spot imports into the region.