About this report

Natural gas markets remained relatively calm over the 2023/24 Northern Hemisphere winter. Asian and European spot gas prices fell to pre-crisis levels in Q1 2024, while in the United States Henry Hub prices plummeted to multi-decade lows. Improving supply fundamentals together with high storage levels and unseasonably mild weather kept natural gas markets stable over the 2023/24 heating season.1 While the 2023/24 gas winter was milder on average, it was accompanied by severe cold spells and gas demand spikes, which highlighted the importance of gas supply flexibility for energy security.

After rebalancing in 2023, natural gas markets are expected to return to stronger demand growth in 2024, primarily driven by the industrial and power sectors in the fast-growing economies of Asia. The continued expansion of renewables and improving nuclear availability are likely to weigh on gas-fired power generation in mature markets. High storage levels could contribute to the further easing of market fundamentals over the 2024 summer.

Geopolitical tensions represent the greatest risk to the short-term outlook. LNG trade has halted across the Red Sea since the start of the year, while Russia's ongoing attacks on energy infrastructure including storage persist. In this context, security of supply for natural gas remains a key aspect of energy policy making and the risks related to our outlook highlight the need to strengthen international co-operation, including in assessing and implementing flexibility options along gas and LNG value chains.    

This edition of the quarterly Gas Market Report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) provides a thorough review of market developments over the 2023/24 heating season and a short-term outlook for 2024. As part of the IEA’s Low-Emissions Gases Work Programme, the report includes a section on policy and regulatory developments aiming to stimulate demand for biomethane, low-emissions hydrogen and e-methane.

  1. The heating season (or gas winter) in the markets of the Northern Hemisphere refers to the period between 1 October and 31 March.