China surpasses Japan as world's largest natural gas importer

China has surpassed Japan to become world's largest importer of natural gas, with China's drive for a cleaner environment and a bluer sky on the increase, reports Bloomberg.

In order to meet President Xi Jinping's goal of cutting pollution, many factories and households have abandoned coal boilers, turning to natural gas instead, especially in the northern part of China.

New data released by the General Administration of Customs shows 7.41 million metric tons of natural gas was imported into China through pipelines and seaborne tankers in May. This puts the total import of natural gas through the first five months at 34.9 million tons. This number has surpassed Japan's imports during the same period, which has come in at 34.5 million tons.

In addition, it is expected this country will become world's biggest liquefied natural gas importer by 2021, with growth in domestic production and pipelines unable to keep pace with demand, according to a report by analysts with JPMorgan Chase.


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