China's imports of natural gas dropped 0.3 percent year on year in July on the back of slowed domestic consumption, official data have shown.
The decline came at a time when China's natural gas consumption slowed to 2.3 percent in July from 9.8 percent in the first half of 2016, according to the National Development and Reform Commission.
Anemic demand also dragged down production, which fell 3.4 percent in July, while it increased 2.9 percent in the first half of 2016.
China's natural gas consumption grew 3.7 percent in 2015, the lowest pace in nearly a decade.
The country's economic restructuring contributed to the slowdown as factories were the biggest consumers, according to Yin Haitao, an expert at Shanghai Jiaotong University.
Some enterprises preferred cheaper oil and coal, he added.
China is now facing an oversupply of natural gas from a previous undersupply, said industry expert Gu Anzhong.