China depends heavily upon Australia for its energy imports – Australia supports nearly 46% of China’s LNG imports (as of last year) and nearly 70% of its iron ore imports.
As tensions between Australia and China continue to mount higher, cracks in this once stable trade relationship are beginning to appear.
According to Bloomberg, the Chinese government has ordered 2 of its LNG importers to avoid making further purchases from Australia over the next year.
As a result, China may find itself having to look for different sources of energy inputs – China has already hosted talks with Turkmenistan, a key natural gas supplier to China, to encourage increased cooperation between the two countries.
In the short-term, there may be an opportunity for US LNG exporters to make up for an increasing supply gap in China if China decides to carry out this “unofficial” ban on Australian LNG with larger Australian exporters.
Source: Gelber and Associates