Natural gas prices in Europe have skyrocketed during the past six months. On 1 April, they stood at $19 per gigawatt hour. By 27 September they had reached $74, a 500 per cent increase.
The pressures of demand are certain to push up prices further in the short and medium terms due to the advent of winter in the northern hemisphere, the world’s largest consumer of gas and energy. The problem of energy prices is complex, but the major ailment at present is how far supply is falling behind mounting demand. This aggravates the uncertainty surrounding the European economy as a whole due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the spread of variants of the coronavirus.