The wholesale gas price on the European gas exchange in Rotterdam fell below 150 euros (3,670 kroner) per megawatt-hour (MWh) on Monday morning. Except for two days in October, the price has been steadily declining since September 28, when it exceeded 220 euros (CZK 5,380) per MWh. Recently, the price decline has been mainly due to warm weather, reducing consumption, and filling storage facilities in European Union countries.
The gas price contracted for delivery in November had fallen 5.4 percent from Friday to 148 euros per MWh at around 9:30 a.m. CET. More than three months ago, gas was last below the 150 euros per MWh price level on June 30.
Moreover, the price is also falling on the spot (daily) market. Last week, it fell below the EUR 100 (CZK 2,450) per MWh mark.
According to ICIS, natural gas demand in Europe, excluding the United Kingdom, was 12% lower in September than the five-year average. The European Commission has urged European Union member states to reduce their gas consumption by 15%.
According to Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) data, gas storage facilities in the European Union were nearly 89 percent full on Saturday. In Germany, Europe’s biggest gas consumer, storage was over 94 percent full, and in the Czech Republic, it was nearly 88 percent.
Gas prices in Europe have been pushed up this year by supply curbs from Russia. The situation over Russian gas supplies was complicated when Russia launched an attack on Ukraine in February, and the European Union adopted a series of anti-Russian sanctions in retaliation.
Russia has justified the supply curbs because of technical problems caused by the sanctions. However, the European Union claims that the technical issues are merely a pretext and that Moscow is using gas as a weapon to advance its interests.
The gas price on the Rotterdam exchange peaked at the end of August when one MWh was selling for more than 340 euros (8 320 kroner). A year ago, prices were often lower, ranging between €30 and €40 per MWh.