EU imported €111.3b worth of energy products in Q4 2023

In the fourth quarter of 2023, the EU imported €111.3 billion worth of energy products amounting to a total of 187.9 million tonnes. Compared with the same quarter of 2022, imports decreased both in value (-34.2%) and in net mass (-11.7%), according to figures published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

When comparing 2023 with 2022, the value of energy products dropped by 35.0%, while the volume dropped by 9.4%. The change in the value of imports was largely driven by declining prices. In 2023, the value of imported natural gas decreased by 52.2% compared with 2022, while the volume decreased by 16.1%. This decline in natural gas prices followed a price surge in 2022 when a 200.4% increase in value was recorded alongside a 0.7% decrease in imported volume.

The volume decrease should be seen in the context of the EU reduction plan, where EU countries committed to reduce their gas consumption by at least 15%. This plan initially covered the period from 1 August 2022 to 31 March 2023 but was extended to 31 March 2024. The decrease in petroleum oils prices led to a 17.2% decrease in value imported in 2023 alongside a 2.8% decrease in volume. Petroleum oils also experienced rising prices in 2022, with the EU importing 71.2% more in value for a 7.7% increase in volume compared to 2021