U.S. LNG exporters face headwinds due to trade war with China

(Reuters) – The U.S. trade war with China has dozens of developers of liquefied natural gas export terminals scrambling to find other buyers, now that the fastest-growing market for the fuel is out of reach. U.S. shipments of LNG to China hit a record in 2017 but have already dropped to next-to-nothing so far in 2019. Then on Monday, China said it would raise tariffs on U.S. LNG imports to 25% on June 1 from the current rate of 10%, retaliating against Washington’s increase in tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods last week. The tariffs are discouraging Chinese customers from signing long-term deals with U.S. suppliers, analysts warned, which has made banks and investors less willing to finance projects under development. Natural gas use is growing fast among power generators worldwide as countries like China seek to wean themselves off dirtier coal, although gas is still a small part of the overall fuel mix. (GRAPHIC: tmsnrt.rs/2WQIeS4) World demand for natural gas is expected to grow from 340 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) in 2015 to 485 bcfd by 2040, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), with China accounting for more than a quarter of that growth.… continue reading

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