Official Japan LNG import stats for December confirm that despite an annual 3.7% fall in volumes to 74.5mn tons, Japan remained comfortably ahead of China as the world’s number one importer.

But, with China’s imports up 11.7% at a record 67.4mn tons (MEES, 22 January), and the country’s gas demand (unlike that of Japan) still growing strongly, 2021 may be the year that China overtakes Japan (see chart). (CONTINUED - 960 WORDS)