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Covid-19 to slash China’s 2020 gas demand

LNG will bear the brunt of the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on China’s demand for natural gas in 2020. But the effects are likely to be short-lived unless there is a major escalation of mainland infections

China’s demand for natural gas is expected to be 10bn m3 less in 2020 than it would have been in the absence of the coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak, according to Sublime China Information (SCI99). Most of the reduction, around 9bn m3, is expected in the first quarter with another cut of 1bn m3 in quarter two.  “We expect that the market will return to normal from March if things do not escalate,” says Michael Mao, senior energy analyst at SCI99, an influential provider of commodity data and analysis based in Zibo City, Shandong Province.  Mao described the reductions as “minor” in the context of a 300bn m3 market. In 2019 Chinese gas consumption reached 304bn m3, up 10pc on 2018. However, he

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