China became the world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) importer during the first 10 months of 2021, according to data from government agencies. 

China Japan LNG imports

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said China’s LNG imports averaged 10.3 Bcf/d between January and October – a 24% increase over the same period last year. Japan, which for decades had been the world’s largest LNG importer, took in an average of 9.6 Bcf/d of the super-chilled fuel during the same period. EIA cited data from China’s General Administration of Customs and Japan’s Ministry of Finance.

Environmental and safety restrictions on coal, maxed out LNG export utilization across the world and rising commodity prices have left China short on energy supplies this year and forced it to aggressively...