China Threatens 25% Import Tariff on US LNG

China Threatens 25% Import Tariff on US LNGChina Threatens 25% Import Tariff on US LNG

In the latest trade war tit-for-tat, China has included for the first time liquefied natural gas in its list of goods up for a potential 25% import tariff, should the United States impose additional tariffs on Chinese imports.

As the US-China trade spat turns into a full-blown war with tariffs and retaliatory tariffs and threats of further tariffs, US energy exports to China may suffer if Beijing follows through with its threat to slap tariffs on US oil and oil product imports, Oil Price reported.

Up until Friday, China had excluded LNG from the goods that it would hit with an import tariff in retaliation for a possible new US round of tariffs on Chinese goods.

The Friday statement from the Chinese Commerce Ministry has already had Chinese LNG end-users and suppliers saying that they would likely deter spot procurement of US LNG cargoes in the near term if the tariff comes into effect.

“[A] 25% [tariff] is not something we can absorb even if domestic demand is strong,” a source at a state-owned Chinese company told Platts on Monday.

“So while this uncertainty persists, I doubt buyers will be buying a lot of spot US LNG.”

For private Chinese companies, a possible 25% tariff on LNG imports from the US would completely eat away their margin and would keep them from being able to afford the cost of importing spot US LNG cargoes in the near term.

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