Germany to Cut Gas Imports by a Third in 2023

tendata blogTrade Trends News

ten data blog05-01-2024

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Germany's gas imports will fall by 32.6 percent in 2023, mainly due to energy savings and reduced exports after Russia cut off westward shipments last year, the country's energy regulator said on Thursday.

Germany used to be a major customer for Russian pipeline gas, but after the outbreak of war in Ukraine, it began building floating terminals to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) from global markets to supplement pipelines from the end of 2022.

Germany imported 968 terawatt-hours (TWh) of gas in 2023, the Bundesnetzagentur agency said in a statement using preliminary supply data. Of this, 43% came from Norway, 26% from the Netherlands and 22% from Belgium.

The rest came from overseas or elsewhere in Europe.

German gas exports to neighboring countries fell 63% last year, following a corollary to Germany's large imports of Russian gas through Ukraine and the Baltic Sea and its role as an intra-European distributor.

Exports were 187 TWh in 2023, down from 499 TWh a year earlier, mainly to the Czech Republic, Austria and the Netherlands.

Conservation efforts and mild weather reduced national gas consumption by 5% to 810 TWh in 2023.

Industry made more aggressive savings in their processes, while households saved less because their consumption of hot water and cooking gas was more static.

The regulator said gas supplies are currently in good shape.

"Storerooms are currently 91% full. This is a good basis for the remaining winter months," it said.

A slump in Russian energy exports to Europe in 2022 initially triggered a sharp rise in energy prices, but savings and substitutes helped keep prices in check last year.

Benchmark gas prices fell 68 percent year-on-year in 2023 to 41 euros ($44.90) per megawatt hour (MWh), and are now hovering at just over 30 euros.

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