The global gas market moderated down significantly in H1 2023, despite tighter supply conditions and primarily due to lower gas demand in key import markets both in Europe and Asia.
Asian and European gas prices dropped by over 80% compared to their historic highs of last August.
This steep decline occurred despite a more tight supply picture: Russian piped flows to Europe by close to 40 bcm in H1 2023, while global LNG increased by a mere 3% or 9 bcm -not sufficient to offset the shortfall in Russian gas deliveries.
In this context, the demand side played a key role in softening market fundamentals: in Europe, gas consumption dropped by over 30 bcm in H1 2023, while storage injections were down by close to 10 bcm in Q2 compared to the same period of last year.
In Asia, China’s gas demand returned to double-digit growth by now (partly due to very weak hydro performance), but this growth was almost entirely offset by the demand reductions in the more mature markets of Japan and Korea.
Japan’s gas demand fell by over 10% in the first 5 months of 2023, amidst milder winter temperature and improving nuclear availability. The country’s nuclear output rose by close to 50% in H1 2023 as nuclear power plants are gradually returning to operations.
Asia’s muted gas demand was crucial to moderate down market tensions so far this year.
What is your view? How will gas markets evolve over H2 2023? Do you see any risks for renewed market tensions?
Source: Greg Molnar (LinkedIn)