Germany succeeded in almost completely substituting gas imports from Russia

Nord Stream I gas pipeline valves. (Reuters)

The government of Germany has compensated almost the total of the gas imported from Russia Thanks to the increase in imports from Norway, the Netherlands and Belgiumall after Moscow cut off gas supplies last year over Western support for Ukraine.

Imports into Germany fell 3.4 percent in January compared with the previous month, to 113.9 billion euros, in particular due to a six percent decline in China.

The German economy has been affected by the invasion of Ukraine by Russia and Moscow’s subsequent move to curb exports of crucial gas, a cheap energy source long relied on by German manufacturers.

But a series of government relief measures and efforts to diversify energy supplies have helped ease the crisis, and many economists now expect any recession this year to be short and shallow.

The government forecasts economic growth of 0.2 percent for all of 2023.

Between 2017 and February 2022, Germany imported an average of 77 terawatt hours of natural gas per month, minus exports, which went to cover domestic consumption and fill storage facilities, according to an internal company document. German Federal Network Agency seen by APD.

In contrast, net imports from September 2022 to the end of January 2023 –that is, excluding Russian gas deliveries– averaged 72.7 terawatt hours per month, close to what the German country used to matter before.

A worker walking past a gas pipeline in Germany.  Michael Sohn/Pool via Reuters
A worker walking past a gas pipeline in Germany. Michael Sohn/Pool via Reuters (Pool/)

In addition, Germany received about 4 terawatt hours of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in January through new LNG terminals off the German coast.

An average of 26 terawatt hours of natural gas per month arrived in Germany from Norway between 2017 and the end of February 2022, according to the document. Following the Russian cuts, this amount increased to 41 terawatt hours.

Meanwhile, net imports from the Netherlands increased from 2 to 25 terawatt hourswhile gas flows from Belgium increased from around 2 terawatt hours to around 23 terawatt months on average starting in September.

The figures also show a significant decline in German natural gas exports, for example to Switzerland.

German exports also rebounded in January after sharp declines in recent months, data showed on Friday, with shipments to all major trading partners rising in a boost to Europe’s biggest economy.

Germany exported goods worth 130.6 billion euros ($138.5 billion), up 2.1 percent from the previous month, according to seasonally adjusted figures from the federal statistics agency. Destatis.

Group of shipping containers in the port of Hamburg, Germany.  REUTERS/Cathrin Mueller
Group of shipping containers in the port of Hamburg, Germany. REUTERS/Cathrin Mueller (CATHRIN MUELLER/)

Compared to January 2022, exports increased by 8.6 percent.

But the ING economist, Carsten Brzeski, It warned that the increase was “not enough to offset” a sharp drop in shipments from the export-led economy in December.

“In the very short term, the continued weakening of export order books, the expected slowdown in the US economy, high inflation and high uncertainty will leave a clear mark on German exports,” he said.

In January, exports to USA shipments to China, Germany’s biggest trading partner, rose 1.4 percent to China, according to Destatis.

Shipments to countries of the European Union rose 0.7 percent.

Exports to Russia, which has been hit by a barrage of Western sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine, rose 12.3 percent in January from a month earlier, though their value remains relatively small.

(With information from Europa Press and AFP)

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