The largest importer of natural gas, China, is setting new records for fuel purchases. According to the customs statistics of the PRC, in July 2020, China purchased 12.252 billion cubic meters of natural gas through pipelines and in liquefied form. This is 13% more than in July 2019 (10.828 billion cubic meters) and 27% more than in June 2020 (9.615 billion cubic meters).
The attained level is a record for China amount of imports per month.
According to market analysts, in July China additionally contracted 5.5 million tons of LNG (7.2 billion cubic meters) after 5 million tons (6.6 billion cubic meters) in June China will publish official data on gas imports by countries in two and a half weeks. The prices for pipeline gas supplies change on a quarterly basis in contracts with suppliers, and are tied to the cost of fuel oil and gas oil with a nine-month lag. In July, contract prices should have dropped again (following the earlier drop in oil prices), which made gas purchases more profitable during this period than before.
China imports gas through pipelines from Turkmenistan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Myanmar. Turkmenistan is the leader in the supply of pipeline gas to the Chinese market. In 2019, the Turkmengaz State Concern supplied 31.2 billion cubic meters of gas to China. Beijing increased its natural gas imports over the first seven months by 6% to 73.677 billion cubic meters.