Gazprom prioritizes Russia’s domestic market for winter

MOSCOW, October 5 (Reuters)Gazprom, Russia’s leading gas producer GAZP.MM plans to prioritize its domestic market over export sales because the winter will be cold and snowy, the head of its domestic gas sales business said on Tuesday, as quoted by Interfax.

Demand for gas has increased in part in response to economies recovering from the pandemic as well as low inventories. Wholesale gas prices in the Netherlands TRNLTTFMc1 broke through the 100 euro level for the first time on Tuesday amid rising energy market prices, supply issues and colder weather forecasts.

Gazprom, one of the main European suppliers alongside Norway, Algeria and LNG sellers, has fulfilled its sales obligations under long-term contracts but has not added any, contributing to the soaring gas prices on the spot market.

“I think the winter will be cold because the trees are full of ash trees,” said Sergei Gustov, director of Gazprom-Mezhregiongas, which sells gas in Russia, quoted by the Interfax news agency. “As we have had a very hot summer, so the winter will be cold.”

Gustov, who oversees more than 200 billion cubic meters of Mezhregiongas home sales annually, was referring to a Russian saying that predicts a cold winter if rowan trees are full of red berries. He said it was his own prediction.

“I know for sure that the internal market is a priority for Gazprom and that all Russian buyers will be supplied with gas,” he said, Interfax reported.

(Reporting by Katya Golubkova. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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