Gas prices fall as warm weather dampens demand

European natural gas prices fell as mild weather dampened heating demand and mitigated the impact of a historic energy crisis that has already pushed consumer bills to record highs.

Enchmark gas futures prices fell as much as 8.1 percent to their lowest level in more than a week. A slightly warmer forecast will delay storage fuel utilization and create a larger buffer for the colder months. According to Gas Infrastructure Europe, German stocks are more than 99 percent full.

“Since the beginning of the current gas year, there have simply been far fewer heating degree days” in October, according to Morgan Stanley analysts led by Martijn Rats, who revised their gas price forecasts downwards for the coming year.

“Warm weather was the main reason” behind a slump in European gas demand, “not a change in underlying fiscal behavior,” the analysts wrote.

Although prices have eased recently, they are still around three times the usual level. European households are paying more than ever for their electricity and gas, despite government pledges of more than €550 billion to protect consumers from the energy crisis, according to Helsinki-based energy consultancy VaasaETT.

Lower-than-expected demand in October means European storage sites are expected to finish the winter season in March 19 percent higher than previously expected, at 31 billion cubic meters, Morgan Stanley said.

“With higher inventories — and slightly more demand destruction in the industry than we modeled — prices may be lower,” the bank said. “However, this is solely due to the weather and it is still early in the heating season.” Gas prices fall as warm weather dampens demand

Fry Electronics Team

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