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Chinese Copper Exports Are Flooding Global Markets

Chinese Copper Exports Are Flooding Global Markets

China's copper exports have surged…

China’s Natural Gas Production Increased by 5% From January to April

China’s natural gas production went up by 5% during the first four months of the year to 83 billion cubic meters, the country’s National Bureau of Statistics reported today.

In April alone, output rose by 3.2% to 19.8 billion cubic meters, the statistics service also said.

Imports of natural gas, meanwhile, increased by even more, at 20.7% on the year to 43 million tons. Earlier this week a PetroChina executive predicted that China’s LNG imports alone could break last year’s record in 2024, rising by between 9 and 12% from 2023’s 71.2 million metric tons.

The country has already boosted its imports of natural gas and also coal in the first four months at lower prices, as it looks to stockpile fuel for the power plants ahead of the summer. During the period, international prices were half last year’s levels, stimulating greater demand. Meanwhile, domestic production is set to continue expanding, too.

In 2023, natural gas production in China went up to 230 billion cubic meters, with so-called unconventional gas, including shale, coal-bed methane, and natural gas hydrates, accounting for 96 billion cubic meters. The unconventionals represented 43% of China’s total gas output, highlighting the importance of developing such resources and Chinese producers’ progress in making that possible.

The natural gas output figure was a record high, as was China’s crude oil production last year. It reached 208 million tons or some 4.2 million barrels daily, up by more than 3 million tons in total.

Demand for gas is seen remaining robust this year and over the longer term as well, driven by the power generation sector as well as industries including chemicals, paper, steelmaking, and cement manufacturing. However, it would depend on international prices that are, for now, relatively low. This could change at any moment, however, with large LNG projects prone to accidents causing outages and the LNG market being segmented due to the Red Sea transport disruption.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com


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