China wants to sell part of its gas reserves now that prices are rising sharply, especially in Europe and the winter in the country appears to be mild.
China, one of the largest buyers of liquefied natural gas (LNG) globally, surprised traders with this. This would allow more gas to be sent to Europe, softening prices here.
Oil and gas company Cnooc offers one load per month from May through November. Sinopec is selling 45 shiploads of gas through October. Collectively, this concerns 4 percent of the amount of gas that China imported last year. The country was then busy replenishing its stocks with a view of the winter and purchasing a lot of gas.
But the winter has been mild so far, and predictions are that it will remain so, leaving gas behind. So by selling the purchased stocks again at the current -much higher- prices, Cnooc and Sinopec can earn a lot of money.
Some analysts also see the sale as a sign that major gas suppliers expect energy demand in China to lag this year due to the corona policy. The country uses very strict measures to stop the virus, such as quarantine for entire millions of cities.