Singapore — China imported 9.18 million mt, or 12.65 Bcm, of natural gas, including LNG and piped gas, in November, up 21.8% on the month, S&P Global Platts calculations based on preliminary data released by the General Administration of Customs showed Dec. 7.
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Stronger domestic demand, driven by lower weather temperature last month, was seen to have stimulated natural gas imports in November, market sources said.
"Cold winter expectation is expected to have encouraged buyings for supply guarantee," a source said.
The National Climate Center in early November said that it expects frequent cold air activity, while some areas could witness low temperature, rains and snow this winter.
China's natural gas sales exceeded 950 million cu m/day across the nation, state-owned oil and gas infrastructure giant PipeChina said on its official WeChat on Nov. 21.
Besides, improved utilization of some LNG terminals was believed to have also contributed to higher imports last month.
Some companies have already obtained third party access to PipeChina's LNG terminals in November. JOVO Group, a private LNG player, received an LNG cargo at PipeChina's Hainan terminal on Nov. 17 -- the first cargo received by a third party through PipeChina since it was formed this year, S&P Global Platts reported earlier.
However, China's November imports was still 3% lower than the level seen in the same month of last year, Platts calculation based on the customs data showed.
Over the January-November period, China imported 90.44 million mt of natural gas, up 3.9% from 87.03 million mt in the same period of 2019, the data showed.
In comparison, natural gas imports rose 7.4% year on year in the first 11 months of 2019.
Detailed import data will be released by China customs later in December.