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Brisk German gas imports meet high demand in October

Quick imports from the Netherlands and Russia helped to meet strong German gas consumption in October, but Norwegian receipts were slower than a year earlier.

Domestic consumption rose to 292mn m³/d from 258mn m³/d in October 2015 and 218mn m³/d in September, German export control authority Bafa said.

Consumption was boosted by strong demand from the power sector. Gas-fired power generation was the highest for any October since 2011, as coal-fired power plants were pushed further out of the generation mix.

And heating demand was strong because of colder-than-average weather.

Brisk imports helped to meet higher consumption, while also allowing for net injections to continue in October. Gross imports rose to 348mn m³/d from 335mn m³/d a year earlier. And they were much higher than the 301.3mn m³/d in September.

Gross receipts from the Netherlands, excluding gas transiting Germany, such as Russian deliveries to Oude Statenzijl, climbed to 818 GWh/d from 712 GWh/d in October 2015 and 669 GWh/d a month earlier. And Dutch low-calorie deliveries of 522 GWh/d were the highest for the month since at least October 2010.

And Russian exports to Germany were also much quicker than a year earlier. Russian state-controlled Gazprom’s sales to Germany increased by 20.4pc compared with October 2015, although no exact figures are available. And some of the sales may have come from the company’s European storage facilities rather than being delivered physically from Russia.

Aggregate Norwegian deliveries to Emden and Dornum, on the Dutch-German border, climbed to 131mn m³/d from 82mn m³/d in September. Maintenance at the Sleipner riser had restricted Norwegian exports to the continent in early September, while the extended halt of the Karsto processing facility curbed production. And aggregate Norwegian pipeline exports had been slow because of Statoil turning down Troll output, as northwest European prompt prices opened a wide discount to forward contracts.

But Statoil ramped up Troll production quickly in early October as prompt prices climbed, boosting aggregate Norwegian exports.

Norwegian deliveries in October remained slower than the 141mn m³/d a year earlier and more gas was delivered to the Netherlands, leaving less supply for Germany.

The NCG everyday market held an average premium of just €0.06/MWh to the TTF, much lower than in October 2015 and in September. This may have encouraged directing more gas to the Netherlands rather than Germany, especially as the differential was tighter than the NCG’s €0.15/MWh conversion neutrality charge.

German exports, including gas transiting the country, were the highest so far this year at 67mn m³/d. But they were still well below the 83mn m³/d exported a year earlier.

Exports this year have been consistently slower than in 2015, when Ukrainian demand from the EU was strong. And Italian demand for gas from northwest Europe has been lower this year because of an increase in Algerian receipts.

The German border price rose to €16.45/MWh, its highest since December 2015, from €14.30/MWh in September. The NCG everyday market climbed to an average of €15.79/MWh in October from just €12.30/MWh a month earlier, as firmer coal prices lifted northwest European hub prices.

But the October border price still remained below the €19.08/MWh a year earlier.

German border price and NCG everyday price €/MWh

Dutch low-calorie exports to Germany GWh/d

Source: Argus

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