China gas and power month in brief: balancing acts are increasingly difficult
China maintained a strong appetite for both LNG and electricity. We saw LNG imports grow by 33% year-on-year in February, driven largely by the ramp up in contracted volumes and by a 10% year-on-year drop in Central Asian pipeline imports. Heavy industries are doing great, pushing up overall power demand growth to 6.3%. This momentum can be maintained for a while, and we expect to see more power demand could be created when more coal is displaced by electricity in the ‘2+26’ cities, while gas’ upside is relatively limited. Companies are warming up as spring comes. CNOOC has allied with JERA and KOGAS for flexible LNG contract terms, and Guanghui has tendered for five cargoes to be delivered between May and December. Two of China’s nuclear power giants are also discussing a possible merger.