In August, for the first time in four months, Chinese LNG imports fell y/y by 0.11 Mt (-6.4%) to 1.58 Mt. Indonesia and Australia each exported 0.07 Mt more LNG y/y to China over August, while Malaysian LNG imports into China fell y/y by 0.06 Mt, with Qatari imports remaining flat y/y at 0.5 Mt.
The decline in LNG imports came despite the addition of the new regas facility in Hainan, which received its first commissioning cargo of 0.09 Mt in August.
Pipeline gas imports on the other hand, saw another healthy y/y growth of 0.23 Mt (12.3%). Takes from Turkmenistan saw another y/y increase of 0.17 Mt (11%). As result of stronger pipeline imports, total gas imports were higher y/y by 0.12 Mt (3.4%). The gas imports came despite weaker weather-driven demand than last year, as the country experienced 17.6% fewer CDDs y/y in August, and 11.5% fewer than the five-year average. The reduction in CDDs did help limit the imports of LNG into the country over this period.
Chinese domestic gas production, meanwhile, grew y/y by 0.9 bcm (10%) to 9.89 bcm. Over the first eight months of the year, domestic production has grown by 9.2% y/y (7.15 bcm).
The increase in gas use came against the y/y decline in total power generation, which was lower y/y for the first time since June 2012. Power generation was down y/y by 2.8 TWh (0.6%) in August, while thermal power generation fell y/y by 42.3 TWh (-10.7%), the largest decline since January 2009. Output from all other power sources however increased, with the largest proportional increase once again coming from hydro power, which is up by 33.6 TWh (40%) over August.
Over the first eight months of the year, China has added 48 GW of generating plants, with 23 GW of that thermal. This adds to the 36.5 GW of thermal gained in 2013. Of the non-thermal plants, 15 GW is hydro and 10 GW is both nuclear and renewables.