Crisis update: ‘Russian needle stick’ received coolly

Yesterday afternoon, it was announced that the Dutch GasTerra will not immediately be supplied with natural gas from the Russian state gas company Gazprom. There has been a bit quieter in recent weeks, as far as one can actually say in times of crisis, but after this announcement, the energy crisis is back in the national news. This has also brought the greenhouse horticulture back into the picture. As usual, in this crisis update we try to list all reports.

According to the report, published on GasTerra’s website on Monday afternoon and subsequently picked up by many media outlets, Climate and Energy Minister Jetten was quick to tell NOS that the Russian decision will not have consequences for households nor will it for companies. Energy expert Lucia van Geuns says at the same NOS that 2 billion cubic meters of gas is not very much and calls it a ‘Russian needle stick‘, which is creating unrest in the market. Conversely, European member states are tightening up on the Russian boycott, with a new oil step (more on this below). Grower Rob summarizes it briefly:

The Hague’s statement that there are no consequences quickly gave rise to opposition, including from the Association for Energy, Environment and Water. This organization represents the interests of large consumers. For why no consequences? Less Russian gas at a time when gas reserves need to be filled, of course, has done consequencesVEMW chairman Hans Grünfeld explained on NPO Radio 1. “The gas must come from somewhere.”

It has the news at least consequences for the gas price, who has reacted violently to news of delivery for several months. This morning, the gas price of the Title Transfer Facility, the Dutch gas trading platform that plays an important role in the European energy phase, opened higher than the price closed yesterday. The daily gas price for July opened around 3 euros per megawatt hour higher and then fluctuated around 94 euros between kl. 8 and 10. Not yet the peaks we saw last winter, but an increase on top of already high prices.

The contract price for ‘winter 2022’ is higher than for July 2022. Also for ‘winter 2022’ was (already) added about 3 euros per. megawatttime, and the price fluctuated around 100 euros per. megawatttime this morning, before kl. fall again.

That the market does not react really violently in the end may be due to the fact that everyone is now reasonable anesthetized have been worrying reports for several months now. Poland and Finland, among others, have already had to deal with a similar Russian gas cut. That it is summer is also a factor. The same message in winter time with a higher gas demand could have turned out very differently.

The gas price for ‘winter 2022’ until 30 May at Title Transfer Facility, the Dutch gas trading platform. See the current prices here.

Anyone who is addicted to daggas will feel the consequences immediately. It was also confirmed this morning by the person you spoke to from the greenhouse horticulture sector, although people are also reacting quite coolly to the news. On behalf of Greenhouse Horticulture Holland, chairman Adri Bom-Lemstra could be heard on NPO Radio 1 explaining that some of the growers, an estimated half of them, will already be feeling the consequences of any higher gas prices from today. It has been relatively ‘cold’ for the season in recent days and it costs (extra) money to keep the greenhouse climate good for the crops.

Even more worrying is what this latest news means for next fall and winter. The current high energy prices, because not only gas is expensive, are causing rising costs, and can the manufacturer pass this on? On Tuesday morning, NPO Radio 1, Bom-Lemstra, indicated that the energy crisis is making victims in the sector. If we do not take care not only with companies that operate ‘on the edge’, but also with companies that ‘can usually get through the energy transition well’, but which ‘can still have problems’. The representative has repeatedly called for the sector in particular to be able to make that change. There are plans to use residual heat and geothermal heat to reduce natural gas consumption, and Bom-Lemstra suggested that these plans can be realized within five years. If … the government cooperates a little.

GasTerra, which therefore refuses to meet the Russian ruble requirement, states that the contract with Gazprom in any case expired on 1 October. About 2 billion m3 of contracted gas will not be delivered now. GasTerra says it anticipated this by buying gas elsewhere. Everyone understands that this gas also has a price. Minister Jetten does not want to say anything about it to NOS.

The Netherlands is fully committed to bringing in liquid LNG as an alternative to Russian pipeline gas. This gas is expensive and can not be bought for the 18 euro cents per. cubic meters, for which gas could be obtained until last summer. Because European countries have one filling obligation must fill their gas storage for the winter, the Russian decision means that it will be more difficult to fill the storage, which must be 80% full before winter comes, says Minister Jetten at NOS. He hopes the storage facilities will be filled on time and is counting on liquefied natural gas from other countries (eg US and Qatar). He tells NOS that he will soon provide more clarity on this.

Following yesterday’s afternoon news, De Telegraaf focused, among other things, on a greenhouse horticultural sound from the interest representative for Greenhouse Horticulture in the Netherlands and also a response from the employers’ organization VNO-NCW.

There is also news about oil. EU Member States have reached a political agreement on a import ban on Russian oil which are delivered to the EU by sea, reports, among others, RTL Nieuws. The boycott due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine concerns more than two thirds of all oil that Russia exports to the EU. Details are still under construction. For example, it is not yet known when the boycott will take effect. In Financieele Dagblad, the oil price has again pushed through the limit of 120 dollars per.

To oil prices affects the price of the pump. Gas station owners on the border with Germany fear the consequences of the excise tax reduction that Germany will introduce tomorrow. That fuel This means that it is 30 euro cents lower, which is why it will be interesting for Dutch people to refuel across the border. Omroep Brabant, among others, writes about this. Nu.nl dampened enthusiasm and discovered that some petrol stations do not yet offer fuel at lower prices.

Belgium and the Netherlands also came up with new ones inflation rates† In Belgium, inflation was 9.3 percent in April. This has been announced by the European Statistical Office Eurostat, VRT informs. Inflation was also 9.3 percent in March. In May, inflation will rise from 8.31 percent to 8.97 percent, Statbel reports. In the Netherlands, inflation was lower in May than in April: according to European figures, it was 10.2 percent in May compared to 11.2 percent in April. CBS writes about that.

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