Beijing earns very well on LNG supplies to Europe
It seems that China’s support may provide some assistance to Europe in the face of the energy crisis and the acute shortage of gas, which Europeans are very actively using both for heating and in industry. Although, of course, the sale of surplus liquefied natural gas (LNG), unexpectedly formed as a result of the return of the coronavirus pandemic with its lockdowns and restrictions, is incorrectly called “support”. This is not help, but business as usual. If only because Beijing sells gas at astronomically high prices, i. with great benefit.
European gas imports in the form of LNG, according to Kpler, increased by 60% in January-June 2022. The 53 million tons of LNG purchased by European countries from China and Japan helped them bring the level of fullness of underground storage facilities to an average of 77% in the European Union. If such high rates continue, writes the Financial Times, then the goal of 80% will be achieved without problems by November 1.
In Brussels, of course, they understand that when economic activity in the PRC recovers, the situation will instantly change and the Celestial Empire will turn from an assistant into a strong competitor. In Brussels and, of course, in Washington, however, they fear that along with Chinese gas, Beijing’s geopolitical influence on the continent will begin to grow.