European natural gas extended its declining streak to the longest in more than a year as shipments from the U.S. look set to ease the region’s energy crunch.
Benchmark Dutch front-month gas fell for a fifth day, dropping as much as 8.3% in Amsterdam. More vessels carrying liquefied natural gas are heading to Europe, raising expectations the new supplies will help to re-balance the tight market. Prices have declined after soaring to record levels last week amid a sharp drop in gas flows from Russia.
Traders are also focused on whether Russia is willing to book pipeline capacity to ship more gas to Europe next month. They will be watching a monthly auction for transit capacity on Tuesday, which will give an indication of Gazprom PJSC’s plans for January.
Russian flows via Mallnow to Germany remained halted on Tuesday, according to early morning data from operator Gascade. Russia declined to book any entry capacity in a daily auction on Monday.
Dutch front-month gas traded at 98 euros a megawatt-hour at 9:50 a.m. in Amsterdam. U.K. gas trading on ICE Futures Europe remained closed for holidays.
The number of U.S. LNG cargoes heading for European ports jumped by one-third over the weekend. The region is attracting more supplies as Asia’s biggest buyers are opting to use their inventories this winter instead of procuring more.
Milder weather forecast for much of mainland Europe next week will also curb energy demand. Still, the market remains on edge as forecasts show temperatures will drop to way below normal in the second week of January.
U.S. LNG Cargo Rerouted to Gas-Starved Europe from Brazil