EUROPE GAS-Prices mostly fall, reversing previous gains

Dutch and British wholesale gas prices mostly fell on Thursday morning, reversing some of the gains of the previous day after Russia halted gas flows to and Bulgaria.

In the Dutch gas market, the front-month TTF contract was down by 6.95 euros to 101.55 euros per megawatt hour (MWh) by 0819 GMT and the June contract fell 5.9 euros to 102.00 euros/MWh.

The British May contract was down by 6 pence at 139 pence per therm. The contract for immediate delivery fell 14 pence to 126.00 pence/therm.

Market players remain concerned that Russia could cut off supplies to more customers in Europe, but steady flows of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and record gas storage levels in Poland and a few other European countries provide some protection against the possible cuts.

“It is hands off today given the recent push up dissipating quickly. People are risk averse given how bad they were burned from other moves,” a European gas trader said.

“The fact is still that we have all the gas we need and some injection is going on strong. Until now, Russia hasn’t said it doesn’t want to send the gas (to Europe) but just adjust the way they’re paying for it, so the outlook is bearish,” he added.

Russian energy giant Gazprom told Poland and Bulgaria on Wednesday it will halt gas supplies after they did not meet Moscow’s demand for payment in roubles, escalating a row with Western countries that oppose its invasion of Ukraine.

The European Commission has said the move amounted to blackmail.

Eastbound gas flows via the Yamal-Europe pipeline from Germany to Poland continued to rise on Thursday morning and Gazprom continued to supply natural gas to Europe via Ukraine.

“The market must consider that as long as the cut in Russian flows is not extended to other countries, there is no need to panic, in a context where stock levels have improved markedly and LNG supply remains high,” analysts at Engie’s EnergyScan said.

The British day-ahead contract was the only contract that rose, gaining 6.5 pence to 127.50 pence/therm.

Refinitiv analysts expect demand for heating in Britain to be a bit weaker over the next three days as temperatures remain close to normal.

In the European carbon market, the benchmark contract rose by 0.61 euro to 81.54 euros a tonne.



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