16 July 2021

European Gas Market Continues to Improve Despite Pandemic – ACER

On July 14, the EU Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) published its Gas Wholesale Markets Report covering 2020.

‘Despite the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 over the economy of the EU, the functioning of the EU gas market continued to improve in 2020. This has been evidenced by an increase in markets’ price integration and supply competition, as well as by the rise in liquidity at many gas trading hubs, ’ – it says.

According to ACER, not only COVID-19, but also the irregular import volumes of LNG led to a series of supply and demand rebalances throughout the year. All these factors, together with record-high stocks in UGS in the first half of the year, resulted in historically low EU gas hub prices in spring and early summer. However, as many LNG cargoes shifted away into Asia, hub prices recovered and even climbed beyond 2019 levels by the end of the year.

Due to the high price volatility, trading on European hubs was more active than in 2019. In 2020, hub traded volumes reached historical highs, increasing by 14% y/y.

Russian pipeline gas remains the largest source of EU gas supply, accounting for 32% of supply share in 2020. ACER notes the change of Russian gas flow patterns as more gas was transported via the Nord Stream and TurkStream, as the Ukraine transit decreased.



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