FRANKFURT, June 21 (Reuters) - Germany imported 4.9% more gas in the first four months of 2019 than a year earlier and its import bill rose by 8.6%, official data showed on Friday.
The volume of imports in January through April was 1,652,982 terajoules (TJ) or 47 billion cubic metres (cbm), according to trade statistics office BAFA.
German importers paid 8.8 billion euros ($10 billion) for gas during the period, compared with 8.1 billion a year earlier, mirroring higher oil prices.
Gas, power and carbon traders watch gas imports as possible imbalances in supply and demand can change prices and traded volumes in all three markets.
There is currently abundant supply in the summer season.
German gas stocks were at 77.54% of available storage capacity on Wedenesday, the European gas infrastructure group GIE’s website showed. That compared with 42.99% a year earlier.
Germany mainly imports gas from Russia, Norway, the Netherlands, Britain and Denmark via pipelines.
Europe’s imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) are also increasing.
The average BAFA-quoted price for pipeline gas on the German border in April was 4,574.99 euros per TJ, equivalent to 1.65 euro cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), 6.9% below the price a year earlier.
$1 = 0.8826 euros Reporting by Vera Eckert; Editing by Mark Potter