Germany's natural gas imports bill more than doubled in 2022

Germany's natural gas import costs more than doubled in 2022 despite volumes being slashed by 30%, official data from the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA) showed.

Moscow's invasion of Ukraine last February triggered a spike in energy prices and prompted Germany to seek alternatives to Russian supply while imposing measures to curb use.

Germany's import bill increased to 74.0 billion euros ($78.74 billion) from 35.4 billion a year earlier, the BAFA data showed.

Import volumes fell to 3,524,126 TJ, equivalent to 100.2 billion cubic metres (bcm), from 5,008,943 TJ a year earlier.

The average price paid at the border jumped 197.3% to 21,007.58 euros per terajoule (TJ).

The average import price in December stood at 26,050.71 euros/TJ, equivalent to 9.38 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), and was up 74% from a year earlier.

Helping spur Germany's hunt for alternatives to Russian energy was the closure of the Nord Stream I gas pipeline from Russia last August.

Germany in response bought more piped gas from European neighbours and sought liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports, while mild weather helped curb demand.

Still, the jump in prices and concerns about supply in Germany have contributed to inflation and triggered fears of a recession in Europe's biggest economy.

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