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19 Jun, 2023 11:51

Volatility hits EU energy market

Benchmark gas prices have slipped 14% but long-term supply risks remain, analysts have warned
Volatility hits EU energy market

Gas prices in the EU plunged on Monday following a spike last week, amid overall market volatility linked to supply risks and hot weather.

July futures at the Title Transfer Facility (TTF) hub in the Netherlands fell by 13.8% during morning trading. The benchmark Dutch front-month contract dropped to €30.18 per megawatt hour (MWh), or $346.39 per 1,000 cubic meters. However, prices are still 15% higher this month, prompted by maintenance at Norwegian gas facilities.    

Last week’s rise in gas prices was fueled by fears that hot weather in northern Europe and unplanned outages in Norway would increase demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and put the EU in a competition for supplies.  

“Until EU gas stocks are full, European day-ahead and month-ahead gas prices have significant upside potential, which is reflective of competition between uses: current demand, mainly from power generators, versus storage injection demand,” analysts at Engie’s EnergyScan said in a note.  

Although prices have declined somewhat after weeks of turbulence, concerns over further supplies remain. Warmer weather could boost short-term demand for cooling among households and businesses, but long-term risks persist over the bloc’s supply ahead of the next heating season.  

The current gas market volatility has “highlighted complications for traders” as they assess whether the energy crisis is still severe enough to continue importing additional LNG cargoes during the summer, analysts at Inspired Energy said in a note on Friday.  

EU gas storage facilities are almost 74% full, according to Gas Infrastructure Europe.

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