China’s LNG Imports from Russia Decreased in March

The China Customs Service said today that imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) reached 321,380 tons in March, down 35% from the same month last year. This was due to buyers deferring purchases as spot market prices rose.

China imported nearly 400,000 tons of LNG from Russia in February, up from 264,000 tons in January.

The bulk of imports in March came from an agreement reached prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February. And the drop in orders from Russia matched the drop in imports everywhere due to high spot market prices.

China’s total LNG imports fell 17% year-on-year to 4.63 million tons in March, the lowest level in two years.

China already routinely imports LNG from the Russian Arctic project, as China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and China National Offshore Oil Corporation Limited (CNOOC) hold stakes in the project. However, last month China imported LNG from the Sakhalin-2 project in eastern Russia, which accounts for 59% of China’s imports from Russia.

Sakhalin-2 project It is controlled and operated by Gazprom, the Russian government’s energy giant. The company holds shares jointly with Shell, Mitsui and Mitsubishi Corp.

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