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Northwest European gas market review – April 2021

We are pleased to present our latest Northwest European gas market review.

Highlights of our April 2021 report include:

  • Gas prices: The average gas price in Northwest Europe rose by 15% m-o-m in April, to €20.5 /MWh, due to seasonally unexpected high gas demand. The concurrence of carbon prices setting new records, temperatures below seasonal average, and a weaker renewable output pushed gas prices higher. NBP price rose quickest in NW Europe
  • Consumption: Total gas consumption in NW Europe was 40% higher in April y-o-y, due to colder-than-normal weather across the region
  • Supply: While the overall monthly gas supply decreased by 1bcm in April, LNG imports increased by 0.4bcm m-o-m in the same month, favoured by falling Asian demand. These factors combined to result in the share of LNG in the total gas balance increasing from 15% to 17%. Nonetheless, LNG imports are 1bcm lower y-o-y with robust pipeline flows. Russian pipeline imports rose by 2bcm y-o-y, gaining 3%-points in market share, while Norwegian imports into Northwest Europe fell by 1bcm, losing 2%-points over the same time period
  • Indigenous production: Dutch production in April was broadly in line with the previous month – averaging 2.5bcm – but was 19% higher y-o-y in response to higher gas demand. GB production fell by 21% m-o-m due to the decreasing demand and was 28% lower y-o-y due to robust pipeline flows from Norway
  • Pipeline imports: Total pipeline imports rose by 19% versus the year before, primarily due to 2bcm higher flows from Russia. Driven by high prices, Russia increased gas exports to Europe via all the major routes
  • LNG: Total LNG send-out from NW European LNG regasification terminals was 14% lower y-o-y, led by GB. By contrast, France saw an increase in LNG imports to help balance the French gas market, causing the regasification terminal utilisation rate to rise to over 80%, with a further 4% increase m-o-m
  • Storage: Following the withdrawals in the first four months of the year, inventory levels in April remained below the five-year average. Additional withdrawals in April caused the inventories in the Netherlands and Germany to fall to 40 days and 20 days of demand, around 60 days less than the inventories a year ago. However, storage margins slightly increased m-o-m due to the reduction in gas consumption

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