German gas consumption was classed as being in the "critical" range in Week 5 (Jan. 30-Feb. 5), with temperature-adjusted demand only 12% lower than the average for the week in 2018-21, the Bundesnetzagentur said Feb. 9.
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It was the third week in a row that the temperature-adjusted demand reduction was below the country's 20% gas savings target as European gas prices remain well down on their peak levels from last summer.
Despite the lower prices and improved supply picture, Germany has continued to advocate for a gas consumption reduction of at least 20% to ensure the country's gas supply security, regardless of temperature.
Bundesnetzagentur President Klaus Muller said Feb. 9 that "continued gas savings, diversified imports and well-stocked gas storage would help for the winter of 2023/2024."
German gas consumption in Week 5 averaged 3.49 TWh/d, down 14.3% on the average for the week over 2018-21.
Temperatures during the week were 0.5 C warmer than in previous years, the regulator said.
Adjusted for temperature, consumption in Week 5 was 12% down on the four-year average "and is therefore in the critical range," it said.
Despite missing its gas savings target for the past three weeks, Germany has been able to maintain a high level of gas storage, with sites filled to 75.4% of capacity as of Feb. 7.
Consumption by households and small commercial businesses averaged 1.842 TWh/d in Week 5, down by 10% on the 2018-21 average.
Industrial and power sector demand amounted to 1.648 TWh/d, down 18% on the 2018-21 average.
Industrial demand was particularly hard hit by high gas prices for much of 2022.
Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, assessed the benchmark Dutch TTF month-ahead price at an all-time high of Eur319.98/MWh Aug. 26.
Prices have weakened since on the back of healthy storage and demand curtailments with Platts assessing the TTF month-ahead price at Eur53.55/MWh Feb. 8.
The German regulator said prices remained volatile. "Companies and private consumers must continue to adjust to fluctuating prices and higher price levels," it said.