BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports hit record levels in November, customs data showed on Sunday, with traders rushing to buy the fuel as households and businesses crank up their heating over the freezing winter months.
LNG imports totaled 5.99 million tonnes in November, up 48.5 percent from the same month last year, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.
That surpassed the previous record of 5.18 million tonnes hit in January this year.
China has been pushing to switch parts of the country to gas for heating, shifting away from coal as it pushes to clean up its environment.
For the first 11 months of 2018, LNG imports were up 43.6 percent from a year earlier to 47.52 million tonnes, on track to beat 2017’s annual record of 38.13 million tonnes.
Meanwhile, Chinese exports of gasoline and diesel fell in November from the year before, the data showed, with local refiners reducing production as profit-margins fall.
China exported 1.23 million tonnes of diesel in November, down 37.5 percent year-on-year.
Gasoline exports last month fell 39.2 percent year-on-year to 630,000 tonnes.
Reporting By Norihiko Shirouzu; editing by Darren Schuettler