Mainly, the trade war happened really fast the last six months of 2018, resulting to only 6 LNG carriers beginning from the US to China. The number of LNG carriers is less than the 25 that voyaged during 2017.
The decreased wasn't prevented even though the Chinese LNG purchases the previous year reached a record and the US sold record amounts of the fuel, as reported by Reuter's Scott DiSavino.
Moreover, China as being the fastest growing consumer of the fuel, became the world's second biggest LNG importer in 2017, since the the government weans the country off dirty coal to reduce pollution.
The US is expected to become the world's third biggest LNG exporter by capacity in 2019, since additional export terminals enter into force.
Moreover, according to Reuters, 24 U.S. vessels went to China in 2018, during the first half of the year, in comparison to 30 in 2017.
Mike Sommers, head of the American Petroleum Industry group, commented that the US LNG industry is vulnerable because of the US and China trade war.
China imported about $447 million of LNG from the United States in 2017, about 15 % of the LNG the U.S. shipped that year, making it the third biggest buyer of the fuel from the United States.
China was to import 141.6 billion cubic feet (bcf) of U.S. LNG in 2018, up from 103.4 bcf in 2017 and 17.2 bcf in 2016.
Concluding, LNG analysts highlighted that the slowdown in U.S. vessels voyaging to China last year was also due to milder winter weather and an increase in exports from Australia and other LNG exporting countries closer to China.