U.S. resumes LNG exports to China after year-long hiatus

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U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) have started flowing back to China for the first time since March 2019, after Chinese authorities granted tax exemptions to several Chinese LNG importers, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing sources. commercial and maritime.

According to Refinitiv data on vessel tracking cited by Reuters, four oil tankers that have loaded LNG into LNG export facilities in the United States plan to dock in China, where life began to gradually return to normal, and industrial activity and demand slowly began to recover.

A cargo from the Cameron LNG facility in Louisiana, two ships from

The Sabine Pass, Louisiana, and a shipment from Corpus Christi, Texas, are expected to reach China in late April or early May, according to Refinitiv vessel tracking data.

These LNG cargoes would be the first US LNG shipments to China in more than a year, after last year’s trade war, and China’s steep 25% tariff on US LNG imports had virtually blocked trade in energy between the two largest economies in the world.

The United States and China signed a phase one trade agreement in mid-January, with China promising to purchase an additional US $ 52.4 billion of US energy products in 2020 and 2021, in addition to levels of 2017. Despite the agreement, China maintained the 25% tariff on LNG imports from the United States, and analysts widely agreed that, given the tariff, unless China’s political will otherwise, the Chinese will not reach the goal of purchasing energy products.

But then came the coronavirus, sweeping China first, and upsetting all analysts’ forecasts for any deal or event this year.

Earlier this year, Rystad Energy estimated that Chinese imports of LNG from the United States would restart “only after tariffs are lifted or if political support is offered by the Chinese government.”

China has started granting tax exemptions to exempt some of its LNG importers from tariffs, three sources based in China with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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