China’s Economic Recovery May Keep Natural Gas Market Tight in 2023, Top Exporter Says


China’s economic recovery could keep the natural gas market tight this year, said Australia’s biggest exporter.

The real impact of Beijing’s exit from Covid Zero is yet to be seen, said Meg O’Neill, chief executive officer of Woodside Energy Group Ltd. China’s LNG imports, which slumped last year due in part to the virus policy, are expected to eventually pick up.

“There is tremendous uncertainty remaining in the LNG market as we look at factors like Chinese economic activity,” she said in an interview Wednesday. “I think after Chinese New Year, we’ll start to see what happens in China, and what that means for LNG demand.”

Natural gas prices in Asia and Europe have plummeted from last year’s record high levels after a milder start to winter and government-led efforts to curb consumption, easing fears of a global fuel shortage. But a strong rebound in Chinese demand could tighten the market again, boosting gas prices.

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