April 23, 2018 / 5:45 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-China's March LNG imports fall to 7-mth low as winter heating season ends

(Updating with background)

BEIJING, April 23 (Reuters) -

* China’s March LNG imports totalled 3.25 million tonnes, the lowest level since August and falling for a third consecutive month, data from China’s General Administration of Customs showed on Monday

* Year-on-year, LNG imports were still up 64 percent

* Q1 imports were up 60 percent at 12.4 million tonnes, customs data showed

* A drop from previous months was expected after the end of the winter heating season in mid-March with temperatures rising and the burden on the nation’s utilities easing

* Demand for the clean fuel soared this winter after the government switched millions of northern homes to gas and electric heating from coal, the nation’s favourite fuel, as part of its war on smog

* March gasoline exports more than doubled from a year ago, while diesel exports rose 24 percent

* The customs agency released the absolute value of oil product exports in March in a separate release (Reporting by Meng Meng and Aizhu Chen; editing by Richard Pullin)

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