Falling world natural gas prices have not been fully passed on to consumers in Estonia just yet. Market leader Eesti Gaas says that March prices will be decided at the end of this month.
Eesti Gaas board member Raul Kotov told ERR that "At the moment, the market price of gas has fallen in real terms, but are not yet seeing any convincing downward trend. The market has remained volatile, reacting sensitively to political messages."
"We will monitor the situation and make a decision on the March price for residential customers at the end of February, also taking into account the forecast price levels for the coming months," he added.
Sales price of gas to residential customers has not tracked the Netherlands-based Title Transfer Facility (TTF) market price completely, as the aim has been to avoid sharp price shocks as far as possible, he said.
"The price to residential customers increased by 28 percent in January compared with December, which was a smaller increase than the TTF forecast. In February, the sales price increased by 13 percent, and currently stands at €102.38 /MWh plus VAT," he went on, saying that this was lower than other suppliers.
Eesti Gaas supplies much of Estonia's natural gas; Elering is another supplier.
"Our sales are based on the prices on the stock exchange a month earlier, whose changes have not been so sharp. Compared with December 2021, the expected base for March is 10 percent lower, while January and February have been higher," Rotov went on.
Eesti Gaas sets its prices on the basis of a monthly forecast, he added.
World natural gas prices fell from €175 per MWh at the end of December, to around €75 per MWh this month, in other words less than half the price at the end of the year.
Natural gas prices in Estonia reached record levels from last autumn, accompanied by record electricity prices and prompting government support measures for bill payments.
These have included the removal of the network connection fee to end-users, a cost which the state will reimburse to suppliers such as Eesti Gaas.
The market has also been affected by the current security situation regarding Ukraine and Russia, the latter a major natural gas supplier whose planned Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Germany will not go ahead in the event of a Russian attack on Ukraine, U.S. President Joe Biden recently said.
Editor: Andrew Whyte