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Energy

China's hunger for LNG drives prices higher as it cuts carbon use

Concerns about winter shortages grow as Europe scrambles for supplies

An LNG tanker sails of Singapore. The price of the fuel on the Asian spot market, which serves as the global benchmark, is at record levels.    © Reuters

TOKYO -- Competition for limited supplies of liquid natural gas is intensifying as China and Europe rush to meet their growing needs, raising global prices to record levels.

The surge could spell another rough winter for Asian markets such as Japan, where power providers have been stocking up to avoid the shortages that drove up electricity prices last year. But they may still face exorbitant prices that risk hindering the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

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