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Europe gas under 50 euros first time since 2021

By AFP - Feb 18,2023 - Last updated at Feb 18,2023

LONDON — Europe's natural gas price on Friday sank under 50 euros for the first time in nearly a year and a half, as a mild winter curbs heating demand.

The price of benchmark Dutch TTF gas hit 48.775 euros — a level last seen in August 2021 — leaving it almost seven times lower than the record high struck after key gas producer Russia invaded Ukraine almost one year ago.

"European gas prices have fallen by 50 per cent since November thanks to unusually warm weather and muted... competition with China when its zero-COVID strategy was still in place," noted UniCredit analyst Edoardo Campanella.

China lifted its pandemic restrictions in December but this has yet to boost its appetite for gas.

Following Moscow's invasion, Western nations have been forced to source gas supplies from outside sanctions-hit Russia, with Norway becoming Europe's main supplier.

The Ukraine conflict also sparked global economic turmoil as the invasion fuelled energy bills and wider inflation.

"Without the sharp reduction in Russian gas deliveries, Europe would now likely be enjoying above-average [economic] growth rates due to the post-COVID rebound, instead of suffering near stagnation," said Berenberg analyst Salomon Fiedler.

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