In April, Chinese LNG imports were up y/y by 0.23 Mt (17%) to 1.54 Mt. This followed March, when imports were disappointing, down y/y by 0.07 Mt (-5%) at 1.35 Mt. Over the first four months of the year, LNG imports are down by around 0.21 Mt (-3%) y/y.
In April, pipeline gas imports were up y/y by 0.33 Mt (18%). As a result, total gas imports into China were higher y/y by 0.56 Mt (16%). The increase in gas imports came even as China experienced milder weather in April, with HDDs down by 1% on the five-year average, and CDDs up by 19% on the five-year average. Chinese gas demand numbers indicate demand was up y/y by 0.1 bcm (1%) in March, but down y/y by 0.8 bcm (-6%) in April. We expect most of the decline in April gas demand was due to the mild April weather, which would not have supported heating or cooling demand.
Gas imports increased to compensate for a decline in domestic production, which fell y/y by 0.38 bcm (-4%) in April, the first y/y decline in 2015. LNG stocks also increased over the month.
In terms of supply sources for imports:
- Pipeline imports from Turkmenistan increased again y/y by 0.08 Mt (5%), while imports from Kazakhstan once again declined y/y. Imports from Myanmar increased for the third month in a row, up y/y by 0.07 Mt (46%).
- LNG imports from Qatar continued to decline, down y/y by 0.32 Mt (-77%). Imports from the other major exporting countries of Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia were up y/y by 0.26 Mt (191%), 0.19 Mt (104%) and 0.13 Mt (34%) respectively.
Over the first four months of 2015, total power generation in China increased by 57 TWh (3%) y/y. In April, thermal generation was relatively unchanged y/y, down by a marginal 0.3 TWh (-0.1%). So far in 2015, thermal generation is down by 16 TWh (-1%) y/y, while hydro is up by 35 TWh (17%) on strong reservoir levels. In April, nuclear generation was up by 5.2 TWh (71%).
Over the first four months of 2015, China added 24 GW of generating plants, with 14 GW of thermal, 3 GW of hydro, and 7 GW from other sources (nuclear, solar and other renewables).