The second quarter of 2023 brought some fluctuations in the prices of natural gas in North America. In April, there was a decrease of 11.18 percent in prices due to lower power demand from the industrial sector and the US Federal Reserve’s decision to increase interest rates to control inflation. Consumer sentiments remained low, and industries were operating at reduced capacity. However, in May and June, there was a bullish trend in natural gas prices. The demand from the industrial sector increased as inflation decreased and consumer sentiments improved. The need for cooling also positively impacted natural gas prices. By the end of June, there was an 11.8 percent increase in prices compared to April. Additionally, LNG exports to Europe played a role in boosting natural gas prices in the region. The settlement price for natural gas (USD per 1000MMBtu) ex-Louisiana was USD 2433/1000MMBtu in June 2023.
In the second quarter of 2023, natural gas prices in the APAC region showed a mixed stance. In April, prices declined by 6.0 percent due to global market dynamics, including adequate domestic inventories and Russian discounts. Supply chains for natural gas remained resilient. However, in May and June, prices experienced a bullish trend, driven by increased heating requirements in residential and commercial sectors, although industrial demand remained weak. By the end of June, prices had increased by 10.3 percent. Factors such as the real estate sector crisis and the US-China trade war affected Chinese economic demand, while India followed a similar trend. OPEC+ cuts and low inventory levels contributed to the improvement in natural gas prices by the end of June. The settlement price for natural gas (USD/1000MMBtu) ex-Shanghai was USD 2433/1000MMBtu in June 2023.
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In the second quarter of 2023, Europe experienced a bearish sentiment in natural gas prices. In April, prices declined by 6.16 percent due to reduced demand from downstream industries and the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war. Strategic reserves of natural gas were sufficient to meet demands, but LNG imports from the US negatively affected pricing. Imports from Norway increased to alleviate pricing concerns in Germany. However, in May and June, natural gas prices dropped by 27.30 percent. Supply chains shifted towards North Africa, and despite the economic challenges, residential and commercial demands improved while industrial demand remained weak. Factors such as a decline in GDP and weak manufacturing activities in Germany contributed to the overall market situation. The settlement price for natural gas (EUR/1000MWh) FD Hamburg was EUR 30372/1000MWh in June 2023.
In the second quarter of 2023, natural gas prices in the MENA region experienced fluctuating sentiments. In April, there was a 10 percent decrease in prices due to lower power demand from importers and polymer industries caused by economic slowdowns in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. Consumer sentiments remained suppressed, and industries operated at reduced capacity. However, in May and June, natural gas prices showed a bullish trend. Increased demand from the industrial sector, improving consumer sentiments, and increased downstream power demand positively impacted prices. By the end of June, prices had increased by 13.8 percent compared to April. Saudi Arabia’s decision to continue OPEC+ cuts until August also contributed to higher spot prices in the market, with depleted inventory levels in the downstream power and chemical industries. The settlement price for natural gas (USD per 1000MMBtu) ex-Riyadh was USD 2472/1000MMBtu in June 2023.
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