Natural gas in Europe costs come back to Ukraine war decks

Natural Gas

January 02, 2023: -This week, European natural gas prices decreased to decks not seen before Russia invaded Ukraine.

Front-month crude gas futures on the Dutch Title Transfer Facility, the European benchmark contract, tumbled in recent weeks to bottom out at less than 77 euros for every megawatt hour, a level not witnessed since February before the beginning of a full-scale war in Ukraine.

In August, their peak, European gas prices are topping 345 euros/MWh as Russia’s weaponization of its natural gas exporting to the rest of the continent as an answer to punitive EU sanctions and sky-high temperatures more than the summer getting up demand while constricting supply.

The spiking costs sent household energy bills soaring and have fueled a cost-of-living crisis throughout much of the continent.

Therefore, unseasonably warm weather through winter in much of northwest Europe has decreased demand for heating and is allowing the continent to replenish its gas inventory after the drawdowns during several cold snaps more than the last few months.

Goldman Sachs in November as an answer to a sharp decrease in European gas prices in the future as nations are gaining a temporary upper hand on supply issues.

“As a rule of thumb, a surge or decrease in gas prices by €100 per MWh changes the gas bill of the eurozone economy of GDP once households and purchases have to bear the complete costs of the change in gas prices,” Berenberg Chief Economist Holger Schmieding in a note last month.

“As the EU imports a few gases under longer-term fixed-price as an agreement, the actual impact on the gas import bill is as pronounced, but as electricity prices are still linked to gas costs, the total pain of high gas prices and the relief from any correction may be more giving than the rule of thumb suggests.”

The European Union, in the previous week, agreed upon a temporary mechanism to limit more than gas prices, coming into force on February 15.

The “market correction” mechanism triggers automatically if the front-month TTF price is more than 180 euros/MWh for three days and if it transfers by 35 euros from a reference price for global LNG over the same three days.

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