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Gas Markets in 2021 and Medium Term Forecasts


Natural gas markets started off the year with a strong rebound, supported by a combination of recovering economic activity in most markets along with a series of weather-related events – cold spells in Q1 followed by colder or drier than average temperatures in Q2. Rising demand in 2021 is expected to offset the 2020 decline and even grow further with an expected 3.6% annual increase.

Demand growth is however not expected to keep such a pace in the medium-term, but rather to slow down to an average 1.7% annual rate for the 2022-2024 period, equally driven by economic activity and fuel switching from coal and oil. This slower growth may however still be too high to match a net-zero emissions path, which requires higher substitution rates and efficiency gains – especially in mature markets, where most of the switching potential from coal and oil to gas has already been realised.

This new quarterly report by the IEA offers a medium-term forecast and analysis of global gas markets to 2024, as well as a review of recent developments in major regional gas markets during the first half of 2021.