An end to standard gas prices? Prices will continue to fluctuate.

An end to standard gas prices?  Prices will continue to fluctuate.
gas consumption

Although energy prices are rising less quickly than expected, some energy suppliers have announced price cuts, and gas reserves in Europe are well stocked, the energy crisis is far from over. Energy suppliers warn that the market is tight and prices will fluctuate.

The gas price market is mainly about expectations. The price is now 2.5 times higher than it was before the crisis triggered by the war in Ukraine. “While everything is going well now: a mild winter, ample gas supplies and a slower economy in China,” says Hans van Cleef, energy economist at the public affairs consultancy.

Last week, for example, gas prices in the Netherlands rose sharply due to the threatening strike of two major energy companies in Australia. “LNG from Australia goes to Asia, not even to Holland, but prices have gone up 40 percent in one day,” says Van Cleef.


The price has gone up because if supply from Australia becomes less because of the strike, customers will have to find gas elsewhere. This also leads to higher prices in Europe. But now that the strikes are likely over, gas prices are starting to fall sharply again. Although it is also important how the Chinese economy will recover. And with economic growth, the demand for gas also grows.

And because of the war in Ukraine, gas and electricity prices went up last year. After that, gas consumers began to behave differently. Not only have companies used less gas, but households have also used less gas. The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) reported yesterday that consumers consumed 13 percent less gas than they did in the first half of 2022.

Most European gas now comes from the United States and Qatar, which have replaced Russia as the gas supplier. The Netherlands quickly arranged import capacity for this purpose. “We have already imported and stored LNG in Rotterdam, and last year a new import terminal was built in Imshaven within six months. An additional storage facility is now being built in the port of Rotterdam, which will increase capacity,” says Rene Peters, Director. TNO Gas Technology.

Incidentally, LNG production is difficult, says Peters. “It takes a lot of energy and building new facilities takes a long time, at least two years. This also means that the market is still not stable.”


Another difference from last year is that consumers can now get permanent contracts again. In many cases, these rates are below the price ceiling. As a result, people are at little risk. Is it wise now to enter into a permanent contract?

The price cap will disappear at the end of this year and no clear new agreements have yet been reached. Van Cleef can also imagine that people crave security. “The situation looks favorable now, but this is certainly not a guarantee for the future. I think prices are more likely to go up again rather than go down, but of course this is just speculation.”


This period is the most frequently asked question on comparison sites such as Independer and To insure or not to insure? “Our advice is to fix it. Especially since the price ceiling is about to expire. Then the price you have to pay the supplier will be higher at the beginning of next year. And the price will also go up because usually more gas is used in winter,” says Joris Kerkhov, expert. Energy in the Independent.

Ben Woldring of energy comparison site says most people now choose one flat year. “In the last 20 years, there have only been a few moments when it was better to have a 3-year contract than to secure it for a 1-year contract. After all, with prices falling, you are stuck in such a contract for a long time. At the same time, it gives you A permanent contract is also peace of mind, and with a one-year fixation, you’re at least protected against any outliers next winter.”

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