Chinese trade restrictions do not appear to have affected Australian exports of LNG, according to analysts EnergyQuest.
All Australian LNG projects export to China but around half of the shipments come from the three Gladstone projects – Australia Pacific LNG, QCLNG and GLNG.
And China is heavily invested in Queensland’s LNG industry, with China’s state-run CNOOC, PetroChina and Sinopec all invested in Queensland gas projects.
In the first 10 months of this year EnergyQuest estimates that Australia delivered 23.5 Mt of LNG to China, precisely the same volume as was delivered in the first 10 months of 2019.
China imported a total of 2.3 Mt of Australian LNG in September, and EnergyQuest estimates 2.2 Mt was imported in October. This is marginally higher than import levels of October 2019.
Australia remains far and away the largest LNG supplier to China, accounting for 40 per cent of Chinese imports in September.
However China is not Australia’s largest LNG customer – that title goes to Japan. In the year to October Australia delivered 24.3 Mt to Japan.
Gladstone Ports data shows exports from that LNG hub to China were 1.2 Mt in October (60 per cent of total exports), the same as in September and only 0.2 Mt less than the east coast exports seen in October 2019.
China is still the largest export destination for Gladstone’s LNG.
For the 10 months of 2020 so far, 70 per cent of east coast LNG (12.0 Mt) has been exported to China, compared with 13.2 Mt (72 per cent) in the same period in 2019, EnergyQuest says.
Overall, GLNG shipped three more cargoes, and APLNG shipped one more cargo in October than in September this year. QCLNG shipped the same number of cargoes as in September.