In November, Chinese LNG imports were higher y/y by 0.41 Mt (30%) to 1.76 Mt. Imports from most sources were up, including from Malaysia (0.15 Mt) and Qatar (0.12 Mt). Imports only fell from Yemen, down by 0.12 Mt.
Pipeline gas imports have increased y/y for each month since March, although November recorded the smallest gain of 0.03 Mt (1.7%). Takes from Turkmenistan were down by 0.17 Mt, while stronger imports from Myanmar (0.18 Mt) helped keep the y/y growth rate for total pipeline takes in the positive territory.
Total gas imports for China were at 3.52 Mt in November, which is up y/y by 0.44 Mt (14%). Chinese domestic gas production, meanwhile, grew y/y by another 1.1 bcm (12%) to 11.1 bcm. Over the first eleven months of the year, domestic production has grown by 7.5 bcm (7.2%) y/y.
The increase in gas imports came with an increase in total power generation. Power generation was up y/y by 9.5 TWh (2.2%) in November, while thermal generation fell by 13.1 TWh (-3.6%) y/y over the same period. The decline in thermal generation was made up for by strong increases in Hydro and Nuclear generation, up y/y by 15.7 TWh (27%) and 2.5 TWh (26%) respectively. Output from all other power sources also increased by another 4.4 TWh (36%) y/y.
The increase in LNG imports, both on a y/y basis and on a m/m basis, can be largely linked to the move into the heating season and additional regas capacity. November saw the first cargoes received at the Qingdao (Shandong) terminal. Average LNG prices paid by Chinese buyers were at 11.56 $/mmbtu, down in m/m terms but still showing significant variability, with process of 17-18 $/mmbtu being paid to Yemen and Qatar, and prices down at 3.2 $/mmbtu paid for Australian gas.
Over the first eleven months of the year, China has added 67 GW of generating plants, with 34 GW of that thermal. This adds to the 36.5 GW of thermal capacity added in 2013. Of the non-thermal plants, 18 GW is hydro and 15 GW is nuclear or renewables. This does represent something of a slowdown of capacity building in the ‘other' generation category.