A series of mild weather conditions helped countries reduce their reliance on Russian natural gas in April, with sales falling to a three-month low.
Gazprom, the state-owned energy giant, exported an average of 387 million cubic meters of gas per day during the month to countries outside the former Soviet Union, down 22% from March.
European countries have benefited from discounted liquefied natural gas amid weak demand from Asia, including the impact of lockdowns in China, as the continent prepares to reduce its dependence on Russian energy.
Moscow threatened on Wednesday to cut off supplies to Poland and Bulgaria unless they comply with President Vladimir Putin’s demand that payments be made in roubles. Gazprom said on Sunday that it still met its contractual obligations.
Ole Hvalbye, commodities analyst at SEB, said Poland and Bulgaria were well prepared for the ban, with plans already in place to wean themselves off Russian fuel.
“While the ripple effect for Poland and Bulgaria is obviously manageable, the halt in Russian exports underlines Russia’s priority,” he said.
In the first four months of the year, it shipped 50.1 billion cubic meters, down 27% from a year ago. Supplies to China via the Power of Siberia link increased by 60% on an annual basis, as Beijing benefited from reduced costs.
High energy costs have massively increased the value of its output, which means that Europe is effectively paying Moscow around €1 billion a day.
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This notice was published: 2022-05-01 17:43:59