China will not impose restrictions on natural gas and LNG imports, after the country's commerce watchdog eliminated "automatic import approval" for the two commodities, effective this Sunday.
"After June 10, gas and LNG importers will not have to apply for 'automatic import approval' any more. This move is to make gas importing easier and it has nothing to do with (the price fluctuation in) the international market," China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) told China Daily yesterday.
MOFCOM denied earlier media reports that the elimination of "automatic import approval" will lead to the adoption of an import permission or quota system to govern the trading of gas and LNG.
Shanghai Securities News reported last month that MOFCOM ended "automatic import approval" for gas and LNG and planned to introduce new measures from Sunday to regulate imports of natural gas in order to protect major gas importers from intense domestic price competition.
MOFCOM denied that restrictions would be put on gas imports.
"Gas imports will increase gradually on an annual basis. We will work with other ministries to trim import cost, stabilize import volume and better meet domestic demand," MOFCOM said.
(China Daily June 13, 2007)