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2017-12-01 12:35:00

CHINA'S LNG GROWTH

CHINA'S LNG GROWTH

PLATTSCapacity utilization rates of over 130% at China's northern and eastern LNG terminals are limiting the scope for significant import growth, despite surging domestic prices due to robust winter demand. 

Chinese market participants said they remained cautious about the country's LNG import outlook over December and January as terminals were already facing capacity bottlenecks and logistical contraints. 

The high terminal capacity use and pipeline supply obligations mean that China's three state oil companies -- CNOOC, PetroChina and Sinopec -- could struggle to capitalize on soaring prices in the domestic, trucked LNG market, sources said. The three firms operate most of the LNG import terminals in north and east China. 

"There's a limit to how much [LNG cargoes] the companies can import, with their northern receiving terminals already running above full capacity," said a Chinese end-user. 

A second Chinese importer said shipping schedules are so "packed that it is hardly possible to take in more cargoes." 

The average utilization rate at the top five north and east China LNG receiving terminals from August to November stood at 136%, according to Platts Analytics and China Customs Statistics. Capacity utilization at Qingdao, Tangshan, Rudong, Shanghai and Zhejiang terminals were at 107% over January-July 

A few of these terminals have been operating at well above capacity in some months ahead of the peak winter demand season. For example, Tangshan terminal received six cargoes, or 560,000 mt in November so far. 

This was despite a terminal capacity of 3.5 million mt/year, or about 300,000 mt/month. 

Furthermore, obligations to deliver gas into pipelines for residential use during the winter was also limiting the amount of LNG that can be redirected into the high-margin trucked LNG market, according to a source from a state oil company. 

"We need to guarantee supply to pipelines, so it's very hard to divert gas away to take advantage of [high] trucked LNG prices." 

DOMESTIC LNG PRICES SURGE 

China's domestic trucked LNG market prices surged in the past two weeks, driven by robust winter power demand and regional gas shortages. 

Average domestic trucked LNG prices in China jumped more than 47% since November 14, according to Shanghai Petroleum and Natural Gas Exchange which monitors trucked LNG transactions from 50 LNG terminals and factories.

The price spike followed PetroChina's announcements to cut gas flows to industrial end-users in Shaanxi, Shandong and Inner Mongolia.

Daily industrial gas supply was reduced by up to 20% in certain Northern provinces as a winter policy measure to guarantee supply to households. In major demand centers in northern regions such as Shandong prices broke above Yuan 7,000/mt ($1,060/mt) Wednesday on supply imbalances and colder-than-expected weather in early winter, sources said.

China's soaring demand for LNG imports this year was driven by cold weather, coal-to-gas switching policy directives to curb air pollution, and the large-scale replacement of coal-fired heating with gas-fired boilers in domestic households. The country imported 28 million mt of LNG in January-October, up 47% from 19 million mt in the same period last year, closing the gap to the world's second-largest importing nation, South Korea.

The gas shortage in the north China regions was also unlikely to be resolved by transporting more volumes from South China in the near term, sources said.

"The price gap between northern and southern regions is wide enough to move gas to the north, but the north is still short of gas every year," said a fourth Chinese end-user.

"The poorly built pipeline infrastructure connecting both ends can't afford a surge in winter gas demand," the source added.

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Earlier:

 

 CHINA'S LNG UP
2017, November, 29, 09:55:00

CHINA'S LNG UP

PLATTS - Asia LNG spot prices surged to a near three-year high Monday as surging Chinese demand and robust oil prices coincided with persistent supply anxieties.

 

 SOUTH CHINA CEA CALM
2017, November, 13, 10:40:00

SOUTH CHINA CEA CALM

Vietnam’s state television said Chinese President Xi Jinping had told Vietnam’s General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong he wanted to work with Southeast Asian nations on a code of conduct in the sea. China’s Xinhua news agency said China and Vietnam had agreed to properly handle maritime issues and strive to maintain peace and stability.

 

 OPEC: 2040 GLOBAL ENERGY CHANGES
2017, November, 9, 14:00:00

OPEC: 2040 GLOBAL ENERGY CHANGES

Within the grouping of Developing countries, India and China are the two nations with the largest additional energy demand over the forecast period, both in the range of 22–23 mboe/d.

 

 U.S. - CHINA LNG
2017, November, 9, 13:35:00

U.S. - CHINA LNG

China’s top state oil major Sinopec, one of the country’s top banks and its sovereign wealth fund have agreed to help develop Alaska’s liquefied natural gas sector as part of U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit, the U.S. government said on Thursday. The agreement will involve investment of up to $43 billion, create up to 12,000 U.S. jobs during construction, reduce the trade deficit between the United States and Asia by $10 billion a year, and give China clean energy.

 

 SOUTH CHINA SEA LNG
2017, November, 3, 12:15:00

SOUTH CHINA SEA LNG

The South China Sea is a major route for liquefied natural gas (LNG) trade, and in 2016, almost 40% of global LNG trade, or about 4.7 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), passed through the South China Sea.

 

 CHINA'S GAS CONSUMPTION UP
2017, October, 27, 19:20:00

CHINA'S GAS CONSUMPTION UP

EIA - Global natural gas consumption is expected to grow from 340 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2015 to 485 Bcf/d by 2040, primarily in countries in Asia and in the Middle East. China accounts for more than a quarter of all global natural gas consumption growth between 2015 and 2040.

 

 CHINA LNG UP 44%
2017, October, 16, 12:10:00

CHINA LNG UP 44%

China bought 22.1 million tonnes, equivalent to 30 bcm, of foreign LNG in the first eight months of the year, up 44 percent from a year ago. Almost half of that came from Australia followed by Qatar.

 

 

 

Tags: CHINA, LNG, GAS

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