The north-west European gas markets of Belgium, France and the Netherlands all went through the July and August summer months with lower gas demand than last year, thanks mostly to an August that was very average in terms of its temperatures. With no great need for air cooling (or heating), industrial gas demand in the doldrums and gas staying well out of power merit against coal, end user demand was down y/y across the board.
While Norwegian imports were largely maintained across the three markets as a whole (only France saw y/y reductions), the bigger surprise was that LNG takes were largely up. While in absolute terms the numbers were not large, the return of LNG reflects some weakness this year in Asian demand and good Pacific supply from Australia.
After the cold winter, all three markets needed to ramp up storage injections and, across the markets, levels of injection were higher y/y. Despite that, inventories of gas in storage remain lower y/y across the region.