German gas consumption slumped in Week 51 (Dec. 19-25) as warmer temperatures led to reduced demand, Germany's energy regulator Bundesnetzagentur said Dec. 29 in its weekly market update.
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Consumption averaged 2.864 TWh/d in the week, 24% below the average for the week in 2018-2021 and 37% lower than the previous week.
Germany has continued to advocate for a gas consumption reduction of at least 20% to make it safely through the winter, even in the event of a cold snap.
But it missed the target in weeks 48 and 49 with demand falling by only 13% and 5%, respectively, before Week 50 saw consumption rise compared with the four-year average for the first time since late April on cold weather.
The regulator said temperatures were 2.3 degrees Celsius warmer than in previous years in Week 51, which led to the fall in consumption.
But adjusted for temperature, consumption in the 50th and 51st weeks of 2022 was only 12.4% below the average for the last four years and was therefore in the "critical" range, it said.
For the current week, temperatures are expected to be stable. "A decrease in gas consumption is therefore to be expected," the regulator said.
In Week 51, consumption by households and small commercial businesses -- which normally account for around 40% of the total -- dropped sharply on the mild weather to an average of 1.582 TWh/d.
That was 17% lower than the 2018-2021 average and 38% lower week on week, the data showed.
Industrial and power sector demand, which usually accounts for the remaining 60% of German gas consumption, amounted to 1.282 TWh/d in Week 51, down by 31% on the 2018-21 average and by 36% week on week.
Industrial demand had been particularly hard hit by high gas prices, which reached record levels this summer.
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 on Aug. 26.
Prices have weakened since on the back of healthy storage and demand curtailments but remain relatively high with Platts assessing the TTF month-ahead price Dec. 28 at Eur82.30/MWh.