The one constant in September across the northwest European gas markets of Belgium, France and the Netherlands was the need to inject gas into storage, with each country injecting more than in September of last year – almost 700 mcm more between the three. Looking to the coming winter, inventories of gas in storage remain lower y/y across the region at the end of the gas year.
Apart from storage injections, end user gas demand from the residential and commercial sectors was lower than last year, while industrial sector demand was little different with only the Netherlands reporting a y/y increase.
Norwegian imports were more or less maintained across the three markets as a whole. A tighter LNG market in September meant that only France managed to increase its imports. Even so, the numbers for LNG are small and have ceased to be an important determinant of the region's supply and demand balance.
Directionally, prices will be very sensitive to weather and so flexibility in these markets will need to come more from pipes, particularly if weather brings an early start to the withdrawal season.