Skip to content

China Going Quiet on LNG Hides Risk That May Upend Global Market

  • An ‘anomaly’ for China not to seek winter spot LNG cargoes
  • A rebound in China imports would exacerbate worldwide shortage
An LNG terminal in Shanghai, China.

An LNG terminal in Shanghai, China.

Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

At a time when natural gas buyers are fighting over every last molecule, China -- the world’s top importer -- is noticeably quiet.

In stark contrast to rivals across the region, China’s liquefied natural gas importers aren’t procuring additional shipments for winter, gambling that the nation’s Covid Zero policy will continue to temper demand, said traders. A global supply crunch has made LNG very expensive, and traders don’t want to pay if the fuel won’t be needed.