Gas volumes were being withdrawn from the storages over 130 consecutive days and, as soon as Day-Ahead dropped to a discount to Front-Month, net injections into the regional facilities resumed on 26 March.
This year, players began stockpiling nine days earlier than in 2020. As a result of an earlier start of injection season, gas prices saw strong growth in late Mar – early Apr. Prompt contracts have gained about 5pc this week alone, reaching the highest level since the beginning of Feb. Now, remember where the market stood a year ago, with coronavirus spreading across the continent, storages being more than 50pc full, and with Day-Ahead being assessed at €7/MWh or so.
The development of spread between Q2 and Q3 ’21 over the course of Mar provides another clear illustration of the attention players pay to the storage factor. If the former contract was trading at discount to the latter in the first half of Mar, then in the final days of winter Q2 flipped to a premium against Q3. This is despite the expectations that LNG imports to Europe will stay high in Apr-May.