German gas consumption was classed as being in the "critical" range again in Week 6 (Feb. 6-12), with temperature-adjusted demand only 13% lower than the average for the week in 2018-21, the Bundesnetzagentur said Feb. 16.
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It was the fourth 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.
"The preparation for the winter of 2023/2024 remains a key challenge," the regulator said. "That's why economical gas consumption is still important."
German gas consumption in Week 6 averaged 3.791 TWh/d, down 17% 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 6 was 13% down on the four-year average "and is therefore in the critical range," it said.
Despite missing its gas savings target for the past four weeks, Germany has been able to maintain a high level of gas storage, with sites filled to 72.2% of capacity as of Feb. 14.
Consumption by households and small commercial businesses averaged 1.938 TWh/d in Week 6, down by 18% on the 2018-21 average.
Industrial and power sector demand amounted to 1.853 TWh/d, down 16% 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 on Feb. 15 at Eur54.38/MWh.
The German regulator said companies and private consumers "must continue to adjust to fluctuating prices and higher price levels."