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Tuesday, 09 October 2018 15:00

China slashes U.S. LPG imports

China slashes U.S. LPG imports

China has choked back on imports of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) from the United States, traders and analysts said, turning to the Middle East for extra supplies amid the two countries’ trade dispute, Caspian Energy News (www.caspianenergy.net) reports with reference to Reuters.

China bought nearly 3.6 million tonnes of U.S. LPG in 2017, making the United States the country’s second-largest supplier of the fuel used in petrochemicals, as well as for cooking, transport and heating.  However, U.S. imports have come off dramatically over the course of 2018, before stalling completely in late August when China imposed an additional 25 percent tariff on over 300 U.S. goods, including LPG, in retaliation for U.S. tariffs.

Consultancy IHS Markit estimates U.S. imports fell to barely 1 million tonnes during the first eight months of 2018, down from about 2.1 million tonnes for the same period last year.

“China has stopped shipping in U.S. LPG cargoes as they are now too expensive,” added a second trader who tracks LPG cargoes.

The United States last year accounted for about 20 percent of China’s total LPG imports, which are currently running at about $1 billion a month, based on Thomson Reuters calculation.

The U.S. gap is being filled largely by Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, analysts said.

More details: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-trade-china-lpg/china-slashes-u-s-lpg-imports-amid-trade-war-idUSKCN1MJ0MY

Person in charge of the newsline: Olga Nagiyeva 

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