In June, similar to May, Chinese LNG imports increased y/y by 0.09 Mt (7.4%) to 1.34 Mt. Imports from Indonesia, Malaysia and Qatar grew y/y by 0.18 Mt (151%), 0.03 Mt (13%) and 0.09 Mt (22%) respectively, while imports from Australia fell again y/y by 0.19 Mt (40%). China also received its first cargo of Omani LNG (0.64 Mt) in July. Pipeline gas imports also saw another healthy y/y growth of 0.47 Mt (29%). Takes from Turkmenistan saw the biggest y/y increase, up by 0.36 Mt (26%). Total gas imports were higher y/y by 0.56 Mt (19%).
The gas imports came despite weaker weather-driven demand than last year, as the country experienced 4% fewer CDDs y/y in June, and 3.3% fewer than the five-year average. The south of China did see CDDs around the same level as last year, up by some 7% on the five-year average, which was at least supporting air-cooling demand at similar levels. With global LNG prices lower y/y for spot cargoes, averaging around the 12 $/mmbtu level in June, the appetite has increased for LNG, while the new regasification plant in the south started to increase imports over the month. The Zhuhai (Gongbei) plant in southern China has now accepted cargoes in each of the last three months, indicating this terminal will be able to help meet the peak summer power demand period.
Chinese domestic gas production, meanwhile, grew y/y by 0.45 bcm (5%) to 9.33 bcm. Over the first half of the year, domestic production has grown by 9.2% y/y (5.27 bcm).
The increase in gas use came with an increase in total power generation. Power generation was up y/y by 32.9 TWh (7.7%) in June and by 181 TWh (7.5%) over the first half of the year. Thermal power generation increased y/y by 22.1 TWh (6.8%) in June, and is higher by 110.8 TWh (5.6%) over the first six months of the year. Output from all other power sources also increased, with the largest proportional increase coming from renewable power, up by 22 TWh (35.5%) over the first half of the year.
Over the first six months of the year, China has added 36.7 GW of generating plants, with 15 GW of that thermal. This adds to the 36.5 GW of thermal added in 2013. Of the non-thermal plants, 13 GW is hydro and 8.7 GW is both nuclear and renewables.