Mild Winter Ahead In Europe? Here's What Natural Gas Prices Are Reflecting

European natural gas prices extended their fall on Tuesday as mild weather and abundant stockpiles eased concerns about shortages. The benchmark futures fell as much as 6.4% to the lowest level since late July, according to a report in Bloomberg.

What Happened: Some forecasters anticipate higher-than-normal temperatures in the U.K. and continental Europe in the next two weeks, which may lead to a delay in withdrawals from gas inventories for heating, the report said.

These might be indications that the area can survive the winter even with dwindling Russian supplies.

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The Dutch front-month gas futures, which is a benchmark for Europe, dropped 4.7% to €162 a megawatt-hour. It had declined 10% on Monday.

Why It's Important: Reserves have filled at a stable pace through the summer as countries increased imports of liquefied natural gas and pipeline supplies from Norway to counter the loss of Russian flows, the report said. Storage sites were nearly 88% full on Saturday, just above the five-year average for this time of year, it added.

Interestingly, Russian energy giant Gazprom PJSC OGZPY is set to permit Hungary to delay payments for natural gas if necessary, as surging imports threaten to derail the country’s strained budget. The move comes days after the company suspended natural gas deliveries to Italy in an apparent tussle over regulation in Austria.

Price Action: The United States Natural Gas Fund, LP UNG has gained over 75% this year while the First Trust Natural Gas ETF FCG gained over 35% in 2022.

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