China has been planning and executing her LNG master plan. Australia is China's biggest source of LNG, accounting for more than 40% of the country's consumption, followed by Qatar, Malaysia and Indonesia. The U.S. ranks fifth, but imports have slowed drastically of late due to the current trade war.
China accounted for 13% of global LNG imports last year, overtaking South Korea. It is behind only Japan, which represented 29%, but is expected to become the world's top importer as soon as next year. Imports in the first half of 2018 jumped 51.3% on the year to 23.66 million tons.
Preparations in China are underway for an influx of natural gas. China National Offshore Oil launched its ninth LNG terminal in Shenzhen Aug. 1. The facility can handle 4 million tons of LNG per year.
Australia is currently the world's second-largest LNG exporter after Qatar. LNG shipments from Australia grew 24% last year to 55.56 million tons, according to the International Group of Liquefied Natural Gas Importers. Qatar's exports fell slightly to 77.5 million tons.
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