The IEA's forecast for the Liquefied Natural Gas market this time involves an energy colossus: China. According to the International Energy Agency, Beijing's demand for LNG will increase in the coming years. The estimate was announced by IEA head Fatih Birol: "A possible increase in gas demand in China," he explained, "could definitely impact the Asian and global markets given the sheer size of the country. Currently," Birol added, "there is a gas glut on the market, and if China’s appetite increases, the glut may come to an end earlier than otherwise expected."
In figures, in October alone Beijing imported 1.84 million tons of gas, 15.1% more than last year, while total imports in the first 9 months of this year amounted to 17.87 million tons, a 26.5% increase on the same period in 2015. And to understand the contrast compared to the market, one only has to think that Japan - that has always been the world's largest importer of LNG - has purchased a "mere" 61,960,000 tons of gas since the beginning of 2016, down 3.5% compared to last year’s figures.
But Tokyo is also in the news due to another agreement in the LNG sector: the state-owned Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), will support Russia’s Yamal site project, headed by the company Novatek, with an investment of 211 million dollars. The same bank, lastly, is also planning a further investment with the Russian Direct Investment Fund.