Demand for Natural Gas Among Chinese Industries Fell by 43% in 2022

Natural gas demand among Chinese industries in factory-heavy province of Jiangsu dropped by 43% in April from a year earlier underscoring signs of economic slowdown.

Jiangsu is China’s second-biggest provincial economy and it lies just to the north of Shanghai, where the harshest Covid-19 restrictions resulted in a web of quarantine rules disrupting transport and labor. The figures are from the National Energy Administration.

Across the entire country, gas demand fell by around 6% last month from a year earlier to the lowest since September 2021, while industrial consumption was down 8.4%, Morgan Stanley said in a note that cited data from BSC Energy Consulting. The figures compared with a 2.1% year-on-year decline in overall demand in March.

China was the world’s biggest liquified natural gas import las year. The country’s LNG imports are down nearly 20% in the first four months of the year from the same period in 2021, ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg .

“The weak industrial demand in March and April was caused by a combination of high gas cost and Covid-containment measures,” Morgan Stanley analysts including Simon Lee said in the note dated May 9.