European natural gas prices fall on inventory gains but fears of winter shortages linger amid reduced Russian supplies
- Natural gas prices dipped as Europe's seasonal inventory build-up kept pace with the five-year average.
- But traders are still concerned about potential winter supply shortages as Russia keeps gas flows limited.
European natural gas prices fell Tuesday as inventories rose, though worries about winter shortages still loom.
The benchmark Dutch TTF gas price hit a two-week low earlier in the session but pared losses to settle down 0.5% at 192.18 euros per megawatt hour.
Natural gas storage facilities in Europe are 72% full, which is near the five-year average for this time of year, according to Gas Infrastructure Europe data compiled by Bloomberg.
The gains came despite heat waves that have boosted electricity demand for cooling, which uses up natural gas.
But energy traders remained concerned that Europe will not be able to store enough gas later this year to get through the winter months, raising fears of supply shortages when demand for heating jumps.
Russia has steadily pulled back flows from the Nord Stream gas pipeline, with deliveries now down to just 20% of capacity.
Officials have urged people to cut energy consumption during the hot weather, and Europe is anticipating another heat wave. Temperatures in France and the UK are expected to hit new highs from Thursday to Saturday, adding further stress to gas supplies.
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