Baltic Nations Go LNG Hunting as Prices Fall, Terminal Opens
Comment of the Day

February 10 2023

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Baltic Nations Go LNG Hunting as Prices Fall, Terminal Opens

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

Several customers on our different markets, who used alternative fuels in the meantime, are already returning to natural gas,” Margus Kaasik, chief executive officer of Eesti Gaas, said in a statement. 
While demand in the Baltics is small compared with major consumers such as Germany or France, the increased buying activity may be a sign that the uptick in demand is here to stay. 

Europe has been lucky with mild weather this winter, which means that gas stockpiles are 68% full, compared with an average of 48% for this time of year. Utilities are now shifting their focus to restocking for the summer season. 

Eesti Gaas also secured three slots at the Klaipeda LNG terminal in Lithuania, with one cargo delivered in January by Equinor ASA, and two more to follow in March. 

The company is now preparing a tender for the seven slots it has booked at Inkoo. The floating terminal arrived at the end of last year and by mid-January, the facility was ready to receive shipments. 

Eoin Treacy's view

The relatively mild winter weather has been a blessing for Europe. It is not a guarantee it will be repeated and regardless, stockpiles will need to be refilled for next winter during the low demand summer months. That’s true for much of Europe since they no longer buy from Russia.

Prices spiked last summer because of price-insensitive buying. Then prices collapsed because that buying stopped once reserves were full. 2023 will not deliver the same kind of panicky buying but that does not negate the fact that inventory build will have to occur.
Natural gas prices are very oversold and beginning to give tentative signs of support building. A clear upward dynamic will be required to confirm demand is returning to dominance and to pressures short positions.
Russia’s announcement today that they are reducing oil supply by half a million barrels a day is a direct response to Europe’s attempted price cap on their exports. Brent crude continues to rebound from the psychological $80 which is the upper side of the underlying 5-year range.

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