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  • Writer's pictureBill Baruch

Natural Gas Commentary - 1/27/2023

Cheniere Energy noted in its Q3 2022 earnings report that the company shipped 70% of volume to Europe compared to 30% a year prior. The company also noted that in the absence of Nordstream, European storage levels may not reach 80% for the winter of 23-24. The president of the Bundesnetzagentur in Germany tweeted that industry & households combined consumed about 34% less gas compared to last winter while he stresses the importance of saving 20% next winter. Undoubtedly, the energy situation has incrementally been massively positive as indicated by Dutch TTF trading into the mid-50s/MWh. Comparing the Henry Hub – TTF spread of close to $90/MMBtu in August to a spread of $14.67/MMBtu as of Thursday’s close, industry in Europe is looking to restart operations. According to a survey by IFO, the chemical industry’s currently suppressed production levels are expected to take a substantial turn for the better. Additionally, export expectations with the return of China are taking a turn north too. While Dutch TTF in the mid-50s compares favorable against recent trends, in December of 2020 prices were right around €15/MWh. Thus, the competitiveness of European industry may remain questionable for a little while longer despite a shift in prices. Long-term, coal replacement will continue to drive demand across Asia Pacific, but more supply is coming online as the U.S. as well as Qatar develop incremental export capacity. Qatar alone has 4 mega-trains under construction with 4 more in planning (in phases of 2.)

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