BRUSSELS: The EU's demand for natural gas has been declining for 2 consecutive years. After a 13.3% yearly decrease in 2022, demand fell by another 7.4% in 2023, totalling 12.72 million terajoules in 2023.

This also marks the lowest demand recorded since the collection of monthly cumulated data began in 2008, according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

This reduction has been affected by measures outlined in the Council Regulation (EU) 2022/1369 on coordinated demand-reduction measures for gas, as part of the REPowerEU plan to end EU’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels, as well as the ongoing energy crisis and the increase of energy prices.

In 2023, the largest natural gas consumers in the EU reduced their demand. Germany recorded a 2.96 million terajoules demand (-3.8% compared with 2022), Italy 2.35 million terajoules (-10.0%) and France 1.36 million terajoules (-11.7%).

Looking at all EU countries, demand decreased in 21 out of 27 countries, with increases recorded in Finland (+25.6%), Sweden (+11.1%), Poland (+5.3%), Malta (+4.5%), Denmark (+1.1%) and Croatia (+0.8%).