Strong LNG imports to Europe offset lower Russian gas flows

Energy Trade

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A flurry of LNG cargoes heading to Europe are likely to offset a sharp decrease in natural gas imports from Russia in the coming months, with robust supply available for power generation until the end of the heating season, analysis by S&P Global Platts shows.

 Gas imports by Russian-state-controlled Gazprom have dropped considerably this winter, driving prices on the benchmark Dutch TTF hub to record highs.

However, weak demand in Asia has kept the S&P Global Platts JKM contract -- the benchmark for spot-traded LNG delivered to northeast Asia -- subdued, with a sizeable number of LNG cargos now approaching European shores, attracted by higher prices.

European regasification hit record levels in mid-January, with LNG sendout in Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom rising to 451 million cubic meters on the Wednesday gas day, the highest ever level, data from Platts Analytics and the National Grid showed.

LNG regasification averaged 363 mcm/day over the Jan. 1-19 gas days, an increase of 142% on the year and higher than the 351 mcm/d seen in November 2019, the current record month for LNG regasification in Europe.

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