Growth in China’s natural gas imports may slow this year, according to an official estimate released on Friday, reported Caixin.
Natural gas imports may reach around 140 billion cubic meters in 2020, the country’s energy watchdog and two state-backed research institutes said in a jointly released report. That would represent annual growth of roughly 3.6%, down from 6.9% growth in 2019, according to Caixin calculations.
Although the pandemic-induced slowdown in demand growth is partly to blame, in recent years China has also stepped up efforts to reduce its dependence on foreign natural gas by boosting domestic output.
The country’s natural gas production grew 10.6% to a record high of 177.3 billion cubic meters last year, and is expected to increase another 9% this year, the report said. But consumption growth is set to fall to 4.2% this year from 8.6% in 2019 under the impact of Covid-19.