Gas, consumption down in Italy in October

-23.3% compared to the same month last year

After the decisive braking in September, the decline in gas consumption in October in Italy is accentuatedwith pronounced effects of the mild weather – over 3 degrees more than average temperatures – which are added to the slowdown in demand from businesses and thermoelectrics.

According to the calculations by Staffetta Quotidiana and Rie on Snam data, in the month the demand was 4,339.5 million cubic meters of gas, over 1,300 million cubic meters or 23.3% less than in October 2021 and 15.1% less than the average for the decade 2012-21.

Analyzing the demand by consumer sector, the most striking decline is that of the civil sector, -43.5% or about 860 million cubic meters less than in 2022 to 1,117.5 million cubic meters (-35.9% over the decade), in a context of higher average temperatures of more than 3 degrees compared to October 2021 nationwide.

Industry follows with 23.6% or 280 million cubic meters less to 907.9 million cubic meters, a decline in line with that of September (-23.1% on the ten-year average), and thermoelectric, down by 220 million. m3 or 10.3% to 1,939.9 million m3 (-2.6% over the decade), in a context of more marked decline in electricity demand (-6.5% according to Terna’s preliminary data).

If we retrace the historical series, in a comparison between the months of October of the last twenty years through the index numbers (October 2003 = 100), the consumption of the month just ended (69.7) is by far the lowest. for the period, ahead of 2014 (73.2), 2013-2015 (both 77.1), 2012 (79), 2018 (79.9), 2019 (83.2) and 2020 (86.8).

On a cumulative level, withdrawals in the first ten months of 2022 are down by 5.3% or by over 3.1 billion cubic meters over the same period of 2021, totaling 55,707.9 million cubic meters (+ 0.7% on the average of 2012- 21). The civil sector fell by 9.1% to 22,083.1 million cubic meters (-5.5% over the decade), the thermoelectric sector is still positive by + 2.3% to 21,173.2 million cubic meters (+11.3 % on the 2012-21 average) while industry drops by -13.7% or 1.6 billion cubic meters (over twice the annual consumption of Ilva) to 10,094 million cubic meters (-10.2% on the ten-year average ).

Turning to supply, lower consumption was accompanied by a relatively minor contraction in imports (-14.1% or 800 million cubic meters less to 4,960.4 million cubic meters, -2.5% over the decade), supporting a last rush in storage filling (+ 131.5% to 893.2 million cubic meters net injected, + 94.6% also on the ten-year average) this time with a small contribution also from national production (+ 3.2% to 272 million cubic meters, – 43.4% on the ten-year average). As of October 31st, formal end of the injection season Italian stocks were 95.5% fullless than 98.9% at the end of October 2019 but well above the meager 87.6% of 2021, at the end of a record season of injections (overall 11.9 billion cubic meters injected, + 23% on the 2021 campaign and +15, 6% on the ten-year average).

Looking at the sources of supply, the almost zeroing in October of net flows in Tarvisio stands out (-98.6% to just 29.1 million cubic meters) where most of Russian gas enters, compared to volumes sustained by Algeria, the first source with 2 billion cubic meters (-0.3%, + 61.3% on the ten-year average). Third source is LNG with 1.28 billion cubic meters overall from the various terminals (+ 130%), fourth is Azerbaijan with 0.92 billion approximately (+ 21.4%) and Northern Europe fifth (+ 318.6% to 447.7 million cubic meters). Libya this month also makes a small contribution to compensate for the lower Russian volumes with + 0.8% over 2021 to 284 million cubic meters (but still -40.1% on the ten-year average).

On a cumulative level, in the first ten months of 2022 imports decreased by 1% to 58,280 million cubic meters (+ 7.4% on the 2012-2021 average), with an overall decline in Russia of -55.5% to 10.35 billion m3, a further increase in Algeria (+ 11.7%) to 19.33 billion m3, + 33.6% of LNG to 11.4 billion m3, + 52.5% of Azerbaijan to 8.55 billion cubic meters and + 376.2% in Northern Europe to 6.56 billion cubic meters. The only non-Russian source in decline is Libya with -24.9% to 2.05 billion cubic meters. Production closed the 10 months with a breakeven at 2.59 billion cubic meters (-44.9% on the ten-year average).