In September, European gas markets were mixed in terms of end user demand. UK gas demand up by 88 mcm (2.5%) y/y. While the trends of y/y reductions in NTS-connected industry (down by 14 mcm, -4.9%), and LDZ demand (down by 92 mcm, -3.8%) continued, the losing streak in power sector demand ended as it posted y/y increases of 192 mcm (23%). This was important as it was among the first signs that the reductions in coal capacity from the LCPD are having an impact on the demand for gas. Apart from the UK, end user gas demand in most other markets softened with Belgium, France and the Netherlands all reporting reductions in gas demand from the residential and commercial sectors, and only the Netherlands reporting a y/y increase in industrial sector demand. The southern markets of Spain and Italy also saw reductions as both industrial and power-sector gas demand were weak – the latter was particularly low in Spain due to a very strong hydro position.
While demand was softer, imports were up with indications that supply from the Netherlands, Norway, and Russia were all up y/y. Imports increased y/y because the one constant across all of the markets remained the need to inject gas into storage. Over September, the main gas markets injected over 6 bcm into storage, up some 2.3 bcm y/y. Even so, gas inventories in storage facilities remain lower than this time last year.