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China Jan LNG imports rise to record ahead of cold snap, Spring Festival

BEIJING, Feb 23 (Reuters) - China's imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) rose to a record in January, as the world's most populous nation rushed to shore up supplies ahead of another cold snap and the Spring Festival celebrations this month.

Arrivals totalled 5.18 million tonnes, compared with the previous record of 5.03 million tonnes set in December and up 51.2 percent from January 2017, according to data from China's General Administration of Customs released on Friday.

Purchases spiked to cover a surge in demand under Beijing's push to replace coal with gas for households and factories, leading companies to pull in cargoes from suppliers as diverse as Nigeria, Angola and Norway.

Imports were affected by the timing of the Spring Festival, which fell in February this year, rather than January as in 2017. (Reporting by Josephine Mason; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)