Reports from France says the strikes against a labor market reform have shut down the LNG import terminals, even as the impact continues this week.

French union representatives told Reuters on Monday that the massive protests and strikes in many sectors are in response to a proposal by French President Emmanuel Macron to raise the retirement age by two years to 64.

Media reports said the strikes and street protests against the pension reform have disrupted power supply, refining operations, fuel deliveries and other petroleum sector activities for more than a week.

Despite the strikes and protests, last weekend the French Senate voted in favor of the proposed reform. The bill has yet to clear other legislative hurdles, including votes in both houses and a committee of the Senate and the lower house, the National Assembly.
The disruption at France’s LNG terminals is expected to last beyond March 14, a union official told Reuters today.

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“All the gas terminals and storages are in the hands of the strikers. Terminals are shut down. There is a decline in storage,” the union official added.

France has four LNG receiving terminals, Dunkirk, Montoir, Fos Cavaou, and Fos Tonkin. The Montoir, Fos Cavaou, and Fos Tonkin LNG import terminals have been offline since March 6, and will be out of operations until March 14, the operator of the facilities Elengy told Kpler last week.

Last week, deliveries to Europe and Turkey fell by nearly 19%, according to ship-tracking data by Kpler cited by Montel. Europe’s LNG imports could be the lowest since October 2022, according to Kpler.

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The halted operations at the French LNG import terminals sent the European benchmark gas price at the TTF hub up by 25% over Thursday and Friday last week, also due to a cold snap in northwest Europe and renewed concerns about France’s nuclear power fleet availability. On Monday, prices were down in Amsterdam trade, due to higher wind power generation across northwest Europe and a weather outlook for milder temperatures.

By Bosco Agba

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