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Negative pricing seen spreading from oil to gas as European demand slumps

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Monday, 25 May, 2020, 23:10
Negative pricing seen spreading from oil to gas as European demand slumps

A month after U.S. crude oil prices collapsed into negative territory, European gas markets are facing the prospect of also slipping into the red after a slump in demand and surging inventories pushed prices into low single digits. Dutch and British gas prices have plunged due to weak demand amid coronavirus lockdowns and strong renewables output, compounding an already oversupplied market with little available storage space left.
In the European benchmark gas market, the Dutch TTF hub, the day-ahead price was down 20% at 2.50 euros per megawatt hour, equivalent to less than $1 per million British thermal units (mmBtu). Prompt UK prices were up to 30% lower.

Some traders are expecting European gas contracts for near-term delivery to go to zero or even turn negative - which could force sellers to give gas away - following a similar move in the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil price last month.

“If supply remains this strong until storage is full, we can possibly see negative prices at some point, as there is no sign of relief from the demand side,” a European gas trader said.
“If it will happen today or next week, it’s hard to say. This weekend we have very low demand and strong supply, so weekend prices might go close to negative,” the trader added.