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Cold winter rally on the gas market

13 January 2021

The coronavirus crisis in the global gas market ended with an explosive price increase. Amid an unusually cold winter in the northern hemisphere and a shortage of liquefied natural gas, prices at gas hubs in Asia and Europe soared by hundreds of percent. The main gas consumers were totally unprepared for such an abnormal cold snap: the supplies of liquefied gas dropped almost twofold against the backdrop of lockdowns. As a result, Asian and EU countries approached the January frosts with reduced reserves of their main heat source.

At the same time, in December, the average selection from storage facilities was twice as high as last year's figures, and in the first week of January, the decline accelerated to 48%.

All of this has an impact on gas prices; at particularly extreme moments, gas in Europe went as high as $660 per thousand cubic meters. Traders, however, prefer to transport liquefied gas to Asia, where prices are even higher, literally flying into the stratosphere: in just over half a year quotes at the Japanese gas hub jumped tenfold, exceeding $1,000 per 1,000 cubic meters at the beginning of this week.

Natural gas futures prices rose during the American session on Tuesday. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures for February delivery traded at about $2.819 for a million BTU, and were growing steadily. Rush demand for gas will affect the price of the nearby gas contracts (NATGAS) available in the trading terminal.

Earlier this week, the Democrats of the US Congress began preparations for the impeachment of the current US President Donald Trump. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has instructed the House Rules Committee to be ready. According to her, the country's leader committed "subversive actions" and may be removed in accordance with the 25th amendment to the US Constitution on the inability of the president to fulfill his duties.

The House of Representatives passed a resolution calling for the removal of Trump from power shortly before midnight on Tuesday. It calls on Vice President to remove Donald Trump from power immediately.

The vote was held almost exactly in accordance with the party affiliation of the legislators. 223 members of Congress supported the adoption of the document, 205 voted against. However, a few hours before that, Pence said that he was not going to support the resolution, thereby giving Donald a chance to sit out the allotted time in peace.

For the UK, 2021 did not go well from the very beginning. A mutated virus and irresponsible Londoners are to blame. Britain is among the five countries with the highest rates of morbidity and mortality — three million infected and 82 thousand deaths accordingly. The total death rate in the country, which amounted to 697 thousand people in 2020, was the highest since the Second World War.

And even with such depressing statistics, according to the appeal of the head of the London Police Cressida Dick, people still regularly violate the instructions of the authorities.

Bank analysts including JPMorgan Chase and UBS Group are lowering their forecasts given the renewed isolation, with more severity in some places than before. In addition, experts fear that the new mutation of the coronavirus sweeping the UK will have devastating consequences on the continent. As a blueprint, all reputable analytical agencies are revising the value of the Pound Sterling downward.



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