Hungary breaks ranks with European partners on ruble payments
European gas prices are stable today appearing fatigued and perhaps making temporary peace with ongoing volatility.
Hungary’s Prime Minister said today that the country will pay for gas in rubles if Russia ask them.
This statement reveals fissures in what has so far been a common response from the EU: that such a unilateral demand was against the terms of their contracts.
If followed by other nations, this is likely to dent the EU’s market power, potentially paving the road for intra-EU competition and an ‘every man for himself ‘approach, that will result ultimately in higher volatility in prices.
However as highlighted previously, Russia may have operational issues managing an eventual supply halt only to specific markets.
Despite initial nervousness over the implications of the German government takeover of Gazprom Germania, the market appears to be breathing a sigh of relief (and lending a bearish skew to prices) because the company and its subsidiaries - including Gazprom Marketing & Trading - are no longer directly linked to Russia.
Norwegian and Russian gas flows are steady with a total decrease of 6 MMcmd from yesterday.
Power prices in France decrease due to increase of nuclear and wind power.
An increase in wind power forecast in Germany also dropped electricity prices by 27%.
In the US, volatility is now stalking the Henry Hub prices as they reached U$ 6.3/MMBtu today due to the strong demand provided by lower temperatures and high liquefaction utilization associated with decreased flows this week in domestic production, partially due to seasonal maintenance, while weather forecasts are suggesting we may see a prolonged winter.
Bullish sentiment driven by geopolitics and a lag in increasing supply are sustaining high prices.
LNG prices in Asia are close to U$ 32.5/MMBtu, maintaining a discount around U$2/MMBtu over European buyers.
Japan postponed the restart of the 870 MW nuclear reactor Takahama 3 that was expected to resume operations in May 22.
The delay and earthquake have impacted on Japan’s ability to refill low LNG storage.
China extended the lockdown period in Shanghai with no settled reopening date.
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