Imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) will set a new record this year on robust 8.8% growth, the fastest since 2011, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) said in a report. This growth is expected to be driven by the uncertainty of nuclear power generation, energy market reforms and concerns on air pollution in China, and higher capacity in major exporting regions. Global LNG demand is likely to reach 280 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) in 2017, up 22 mtpa from last year. Future net annual demand growth is expected to follow a seven-year cycle. By 2030, world LNG demand is projected to reach 479 mtpa, rising at a compound annual growth rate of 4.5%. “China, along with emerging markets such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and new small LNG importing countries will drive the demand growth primarily through 2020," said the BNEF report.

Global wind turbine order intake down 28%

Global firm turbine order intake fell 28% in the second quarter of the current calendar year to nearly 8.8 gigawatts (GW), Make Consulting said in a note (1 GW=1,000 megawatts). In the first half of the year, the order intake is down 14%. According to Make, the proliferation of auction mechanisms globally has generally had a beneficial impact accelerating the cost-out (reduction) measures. But the transition is having an adverse impact on near-term demand. As a consequence, it downgraded the global windpower market outlook for the current quarter by more than 6GW. “However, a strong Q1 of firm order intake results in nearly 20GW of order capacity through 1H/2017. The large order backlog from the record order intake in Q4/2016, and expectations that order activity will pick up in Q4/2017 support Make’s near-term global outlook," the consulting firm said in a statement.

China’s economy cools again in August

The pace of China’s economic expansion unexpectedly cooled further last month after a lacklustre July, as factory output, investment and retail sales all slowed. Industrial output rose 6% from a year earlier in August, versus a median projection of 6.6% and July’s 6.4%. That’s the slowest pace this year. Retail sales expanded 10.1% from a year earlier, versus a projection of 10.5% and 10.4% in July, also the slowest reading in 2017. Fixed-asset investment in urban areas rose 7.8% in the first eight months of the year over the same period in 2016, compared with a forecast 8.2% rise. That’s the slowest since 1999. The continued cooling of the world’s second-largest economy suggests that efforts to rein in credit expansion and reduce excess capacity are hitting home ahead of the key 19th Party Congress in October. Still, producer-price inflation and a manufacturing sentiment gauge both exceeded estimates earlier this month, signalling some resilience. Bloomberg

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