A report from EnergyQuest said that 36 per cent of Australian LNG exports went to China last month.
A report from EnergyQuest said that 36 per cent of Australian LNG exports went to China last month.

Increased scrutiny: How coronavirus will impact CQ exports

THE impact of coronavirus on Queensland resources has come under increased scrutiny as the number of people infected surpasses 45,000 globally.

Gladstone LNG exporters are considered particularly exposed to China and analysts are keeping a close eye on how the outbreak is affecting the market.

Central Queensland accounts for about 27 per cent of China's LNG imports, and a report from EnergyQuest said that 36 per cent of Australian LNG exports went to the country last month.

"The percentage of output delivered to China in January was 85 per cent for APLNG and 67 per cent for QCLNG," the report states of two of the Curtis Island exporters.

A spokeswoman for Origin, which has a significant stake in APLNG, said there had been no operational impacts as a result of coronavirus to date.

"As this is an evolving situation, we are continuing to review the advice from the relevant authorities and are carrying out the necessary planning to ensure we can manage and mitigate any risks to the business that may arise," she said.

EnergyQuest chief executive Graeme Bethune said Australian cargoes were yet to feel any significant impact, and questioned whether some ports might be affected more than others.

"Australian exports to China tend to go to ports in Northern China and Southern China, rather than Central China," he said.

How long the health crisis lasts may also have a bearing on the country's appetite for Australian LNG.

If workers are stuck at home and industrial activity takes a hit, Dr Bethune said demand could be affected.

The broader LNG market has felt the effect of a warmer than usual northern hemisphere winter but Australian shipments have not been affected by a global surplus according to the EnergyQuest report.

Earlier this week Aurizon managing director and CEO Andrew Harding declared it "too early to tell" how the coronavirus would affect its supply to Chinese customers.

"I can acknowledge it as an issue we're watching but I can't give you any more detail," he said.



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