Sunday, December 8, 2019

Watch Out for China

From The Daily Wire:
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) China is slated to be the world’s number one importer of natural gas, with its insatiable demand rising 60 percent to 376 billion cubic meters from 2017 to 2023. This presents them with a vulnerability … the likes of which so concerned Imperial Japan in the 1930s and which was the catalyst for their ruthless aggression into the oil fields of Indochina. China will soon surpass Japan as the leading importer of both piped and liquefied natural gas. Their LNG imports could more than double to 111 million tonnes by 2025 from last year, at an average annual growth of 10.9 per cent, according to a Morgan Stanley forecast. Reuters reported that China, Japan and South Korea will buy 48 per cent of the 505 bcm of LNG sold in 2023. “When all of Asia is taken into account, LNG sales there will rise to 75 per cent of all LNG sold globally from 72 per cent [in 2017].” 
Conversely the United States is both energy independent due to the shale revolution over the past decade, and now the third largest exporter of LNG, soon to be the largest if trends continue. This has presented a strategic conundrum to the Chinese, who view the U.S. through an adversarial lens. It is not happenstance that among their retaliatory tariffs was a 25% punitive duty on LNG from the U.S. The impact has been biting. Prior to the slowdown, China was on track to import 141.6 billion cubic feet (bcf) of U.S. LNG in 2018, up from 103.4 bcf in 2017 and 17.2 bcf in 2016. (It imported no U.S. LNG in 2015.) In total, however, China bought just 93.9 bcf of U.S. LNG in 2018. The U.S. last year accounted for just 4 per cent of China’s LNG imports, compared to Australia’s 43.7 per cent and Qatar’s 17 per cent. (Read more.)

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