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European Gas Rebounds as Supply Risks Counter Muted Demand

European Gas Rebounds as Supply Risks Counter Muted Demand

 

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(Bloomberg) — European natural gas rose as traders weighed potential supply curbs this winter against unseasonably warm weather and muted demand.

Benchmark futures gained as much as 8%, with liquefied natural gas flows from the US in focus. Freeport LNG in Texas, hobbled by a fire earlier this year, has yet to submit a restart plan to federal regulators, stoking speculation that it won’t resume operations this month as planned.

That’s keeping the market nervous about a thin cushion of global supply after Russia’s gas cuts, which may support prices when temperatures inevitably drop. 

Dutch front-month gas, Europe’s benchmark, traded 6.9% higher at €124.25 per megawatt-hour by 10:43 a.m. in Amsterdam after losing 5.8% a day earlier. The UK equivalent rose 8.1% on Wednesday.

For now, temperatures are expected above seasonal norms in most of western Europe for the next two weeks, with cooler conditions limited to the southeast of the continent, according to forecaster Maxar. Europe’s gas storage sites are nearly 95% full, providing a buffer for when the weather turns colder. 

Delayed heating demand and reduced gas consumption by industries have provided some respite. At least four LNG vessels bound for the UK are delaying their unloadings amid unusually mild weather, ship-tracking and port data show.

Still, politicians are weighing more steps to safeguard markets from potential risks in colder months.

Germany is continuing to expand aid to consumers struggling with rising energy bills. The UK is testing its blackout emergency plans, the Guardian reported, citing documents that warn of a “reasonable worst-case scenario” in which energy sectors could be “severely disrupted” for up to a week.

 

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.

 

Source: Investing.com

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