Frankfurt: Germany imported 8.7 per cent more natural gas in the first five months of 2020 than in the year earlier period but paid almost a third less for the supply, taking advantage of lower prices, official data showed on Thursday.
Gas, power and carbon traders follow gas imports because the supply and demand balance can change prices and traded volumes in all three markets.
Gas statistics also correlate with coal, which competes with gas in the production of electricity, and carbon emissions permits.
German January-May imports amounted to 2.5 billion Terajoules (TJ), or 72.5 billion cubic metres (bcm), compared with 2.3 billion a year earlier, said trade statistics office BAFA, which releases the data with a time lag.
May imports alone totalled 459,347 TJ, up 8 per cent year-on-year.
Importers cut their bills to 8.4 billion euros ($9.90 billion) in the five months, paying 31.3 per cent less than a year earlier as a supply glut weighed on market prices.
Average prices paid on the border in May of 2,446.32 euros per TJ, which was equivalent to 0.88 euro cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), were down 42.6 per cent from the same month in 2019.
Average border prices across January-May were down 36.2 per cent year-on-year at 3,315.54 euros/TJ.
Germany mainly imports gas from Russia, Norway, the Netherlands, Britain and Denmark via pipelines, while imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) also feature in the region.
German gas stocks were at 88 per cent of available storage capacity on Tuesday, European gas infrastructure group GIE's website showed, compared with 86 per cent a year earlier.