Gas demand in Europe fell sharply in the first half of 2023 and it appears that this will continue until the end of the year, according to the Gas Exporting Countries Forum in a monthly report seen by AFP Thursday.
Consumption decreased by 10.6% in the first half of 2023, or 21 billion cubic meters, according to the report.
This decline is explained “primarily by the exceptionally warm winter that the European Union witnessed in the first quarter of 2023,” which led to a decrease in the demand for home heating, according to the same source.
The report also indicates that the European Union has set a target of reducing consumption by 15% in its twenty-seven member states.
In the second half of 2023, “the probability of observing similar trends in natural gas consumption in Europe remains high,” according to the estimates of the forum, which includes 12 gas exporting countries.
The estimate is based, in particular, on the latest weather forecasts, “which indicate that the last quarter of 2023 will be characterized by relatively warmer conditions,” as well as the continuation of the European Union’s policy to reduce consumption.
The report indicates a decrease in demand from the industrial sector, which “is not likely to witness a significant recovery during the next six months.”
In this regard, the forum added, “For 2023, we expect a decrease of approximately 8 to 10% compared to 2022.”
However, not all regions of the world witnessed a decrease in gas demand. China, for example, recorded a 6% increase in its consumption in the first half compared to the same period last year, according to the report, which expected the same dynamic to continue in the second half, given the industrial demand.
The forum estimated that the growing demand for LNG in South and Southeast Asia “will support prices in the coming months.”