In the past month and a half, European natural gas futures contracts traded on the Dutch platform TTF had suffered a decrease of 54%. This drop occurred at the same time that the European Union began to discuss regulating wholesale gas prices.
This past Friday, the trading session for European futures contracts ended with an average price of 156.21 euros per megawatt-hour (MWh). This is an 11.1% decrease from the price they were trading on Thursday. Additionally, it is the lowest price that has been reported since July.
Futures prices have dropped by 54% since Friday, August 26, the last trading day before the notion of a gas cap was proposed. On that day, futures reached a high of 339.2 euros. Since then, the prices have plummeted even further. This price was only a few euros per MWh lower than its all-time high of 345 euros per MWh in March.
When the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, indicated on Monday, August 29, that she would be conducting an “emergency intervention” in the electricity market due to the skyrocketing rates, the price of natural gas on the financial markets started to go down. On the same day, various outlets published the first reports that Brussels was considering capping the price of gas in their respective countries.
On Friday, the heads of state and government of the European Union gave the European Commission two weeks to offer “clear” and specific suggestions for meddling in the gas market. This was done so they could study the proposals at the next European summit, which will gather again on the 20th and 21st in Brussels.