China Halts LNG Sales to Foreign Buyers to Ensure Own Supply

(Reuters) — China has asked its state-owned gas importers to stop reselling LNG to buyers in Europe and Asia as it seeks to ensure its own supply for the winter season, Bloomberg News reported on Monday.

China's National Development and Reform Commission has asked PetroChina Co., Sinopec and CNOOC Ltd. to keep winter cargoes for domestic use, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.

The commission could not be reached for comment. PetroChina, Sinopec and CNOOC did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for comment.

The news comes as China's LNG importers seek to stay out of the spot market this winter as demand growth has skidded to the slowest since 2002, meaning the world's top importer of the fuel will likely avoid competing with crisis-hit Europe for supplies.

On Monday, Chinese authorities said the country would greatly increase domestic energy supply capacity and its reserve capacity for key commodities, reiterating a policy of ensuring supplies and stabilizing prices of raw materials.

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