European gas prices fell further on Friday after falling sharply the previous day. The fall follows reports that more ships carrying US LNG or liquefied natural gas could sail to Europe. Earlier this week, gas prices hit record highs due to a lack of supply from Russia to Germany via the Yamal pipeline.
The price of a megawatt of gas fell by 20 per cent to about 106 euros on Friday morning in the Dutch futures market, which is leading European gas prices. On Tuesday, gas prices rose to nearly 188 euros. On Thursday, the price had already dropped to around 133 euros. According to experts, trade in the gas futures market during the holidays will be slightly thinner, which will lead to additional volatile prices.
Shipping data from the Bloomberg News Agency show that 15 gas tankers are now sailing from the United States to ports in Western Europe. There were ten more on Wednesday. There are eleven ships with American LNG on the way, the destination of which is not yet clear, but they do seem to be heading for Europe along the shipping lanes.
Despite the sharp fall in prices, European gas prices are still many times higher than they were at the beginning of the year. This is because Russia has restricted the supply of gas to Europe. France’s decision to close four nuclear reactors for additional maintenance also pushed up prices.
Smaller energy suppliers, in particular, with fewer resources to offset the risks of price increases, face problems due to sharp increases in gas and electricity prices. They now often have to buy more expensive energy than their customers pay for. As a result, many small energy companies in the Netherlands have collapsed in the short term.
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