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China overtakes S Korea to become second-largest LNG importer in 2017: cFlow

Singapore (Platts)--2 Jan 2018 1106 pm EST/406 GMT


China overtook South Korea to become the world's second-largest LNG importing country in 2017, according to completed voyage data compiled by S&P Global Platts trade flow software cFlow.

Northeast Asia's four largest buyers imported a total of 172.28 million mt in 2017, up 12.65% year on year.

Related video: US and China: Partners in global LNG growth?

Chinese imports of LNG in 2017 totaled 37.89 million mt, up 48.4% year on year, while imports by South Korea totaled 36.51 million mt, up 10.81% year on year.

Japan retained its position as the world's top importer, receiving 81.61 million mt in 2017, up 2.28% year on year. Northeast Asia's fourth-largest importer, Taiwan, imported 11% more in 2017 at 16.27 million mt.

In December, China imported 5.05 million mt of LNG, up 38.25% year on year, registering its single highest ever monthly import volume since it started importing LNG in 2006.

Japan imported 7.6 million mt of LNG in December, up 0.82% year on year.

Northeast Asian LNG imports (all figures in million mt)

Dec 2016Dec 2017% Change on year
Japan7.537.600.82%
China3.655.0538.25%
South Korea3.843.73-2.79%
Taiwan1.351.31-2.88%
Total16.3817.698.02%
Full-year 2016Full-year 2017% Change on year
Japan79.7981.612.28%
China25.5437.8948.37%
South Korea32.9536.5110.81%
Taiwan14.6616.2711.01%
Total152.94172.2812.65%


--Edwin Loh, Edwin.loh@spglobal.com

--Edited by Jonathan Fox, jonathan.fox@spglobal.com

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