The blockade of Suez only slightly affected gas market prices
The unexpected blockage of the Suez Canal, one of the main oil and LNG gas tankers, has had only a small effect on natural gas market prices.
The market feared that the diversion of tankers would increase the supply of oil or gas by 10 to 15 days, which would be associated with higher transport costs over a longer voyage. At least fifteen LNG tankers were waiting for the canal to be released on Monday morning.
“As the channel has already been released, the impact on prices is limited. Fortunately, the original fears that the channel may be blocked for several weeks were not confirmed, “said Ivan Weiss, Director of the Central Slovak Energy Strategy and Business Development Division, on the website of the Slovak Gas and Oil Association.
“Uncertainty over the past week has also been fueled by the situation in the Suez Canal, which has meant a reduction in LNG supplies to Europe. Prices also rose due to the outage of Norwegian supplies to Europe, “he added.
The price at the Austrian CEGH VTP for delivery on 31 March was EUR 18.8 per megawatt-hour. Three weeks ago, it was 80 cents less. According to Weiss, the cooling during the Easter holidays may not translate into rising prices, as consumption in the corporate sector will be limited.
The current warmer spring weather is expected to change significantly during Easter and temperatures will return below seasonal normal. According to Weiss, this could also have an impact on the beginning of the push-in season. Reservoirs in Europe have stabilized at slightly below 30%, a difference of about a quarter of the volume from a year ago. “We have seen a slowdown in the last three weeks,” Weiss said.