European pure fuel futures soared Monday after experiences the Biden administration was contemplating curbs on Russian crude imports despatched shock waves throughout commodity markets.
Brent surged to $137/bbl and rapidly pared positive aspects to commerce close to $125/bbl round 0630 ET. The main focus is European natgas futures, Dutch fuel, which jumped as excessive as 64% to 335 euros a megawatt-hour — the equal of round $600 a barrel of oil.
Chaotic vitality markets got here after the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken advised NBC this previous weekend that the Biden administration is in “very energetic discussions” with European leaders to limit Russian oil imports.
Ole Hansen, head of commodity technique at Saxo Financial institution A/S, advised Bloomberg he’s at a “misplaced for phrases” for the most recent value motion of natgas. “Margin calls and really illiquid and unsure markets driving this transfer,” he stated.
Bloomberg notes that EU GDP might be slashed by as a lot as 1% or 2.2% yearly ought to Russia’s natgas flows drop to zero. Even in at the moment’s excessive value atmosphere, the continent is predicted to take a 0.6% hit. To make sure vitality safety, EU leaders have accelerated renewable vitality initiatives and are additionally speaking with different vitality exporters, such because the US, Qatar, Norway, Egypt, Algeria, and Azerbaijan, to satisfy their natgas wants.
Regardless that spring is lower than two weeks away, heating demand remains to be elevated, and vitality inflation is crushing the pocketbooks of households throughout the continent. Additionally, one vitality supplier ceased to supply heating oil to the parliament constructing of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo due to hovering costs, newspaper Faktor reported, which suggests the amenities are at the moment with out warmth.
Because the Russian invasion threatens to cut back or lower off Russian natgas provides—both within the type of sanctions or Moscow’s retaliation to sanctions—Wooden McKenzie detailed final week that Europe can survive the subsequent winter with out Russian fuel. Nevertheless, costs would stay terribly excessive and could be something however wealth-destroying for households and companies.
“From file lows at first of winter, storage ranges have now re-enter[ed] their five-year vary, albeit on the decrease facet, and are on observe to be in a extra snug place by the top of March,” Kateryna Filippenko, principal analyst, Europe fuel analysis, at WoodMac, stated.
“It’s our present evaluation that the EU can get by this winter safely,” Filippenko. However what about subsequent? Natgas provides on the continent are at low ranges, and natgas injections start on the finish of March and early April to resupply stockpiles.
If Russian natgas flows stay low and the West bans Russian vitality imports, the EU higher discover new suppliers rapidly, or vitality inflation will proceed to wreak havoc.