June 30, 2020 / 1:40 PM / 9 days ago

Germany's gas imports rose in April, first four months of year

FRANKFURT, June 30 (Reuters) - Germany imported 13.3% more natural gas in April than a year earlier and 8.7% more in January-April compared with the same period of 2019, official data showed on Tuesday.

April imports totalled 447,872 Terajoules (TJ), or 12.7 billion cubic metres (bcm), trade statistics office BAFA, which releases the data with a time lag, said in a statement.

January-April imports amounted to 2.09 billion TJ, or 59.3 bcm.

Average prices paid on the border of 2,739.42 euros/TJ ($3,073.08) in April, equivalent to 0.99 euro cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), were down 40% year-on-year as a supply glut weighed on the market.

Average prices across January-April were down 35.1% year-on-year at 3,508.03 euros/TJ.

The price trends enabled importers to cut theirs bills to 7.3 billion euros, down 29.8% year-on-year in the period under review, despite bigger purchases than a year earlier, BAFA said.

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.

Germany mainly imports gas from Russia, Norway, the Netherlands, Britain and Denmark via pipelines, while imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) are also increasing in the region.

German gas stocks were at 88% of available storage capacity on Monday, European gas infrastructure group GIE’s website showed, compared with 82% a year earlier.

$1 = 0.8914 euros Reporting by Vera Eckert, editing by Mark Potter

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