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Keeping Europe Warm This Winter Comes Down to Asia’s Weather

  • A severe north Asian winter could add to global energy demand
  • Europe shunning Russian fuel means more tussle with Asia
International competition for fuel has increased since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine upended global trade flows, helping push prices of coal and natural gas to records. 

International competition for fuel has increased since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine upended global trade flows, helping push prices of coal and natural gas to records. 

Photographer: Asim Hafeez/Bloomberg
Updated on

As it weans itself off Russian fuel and races to secure enough natural gas and coal, Europe’s quest to stay warm this winter will depend heavily on three nations on the other side of the world: Japan, South Korea and China. 

The Asian countries, among the world’s biggest importers of liquefied natural gas and seaborne coal, all share a peak heating demand season during the winter with Europe. It’s still too early for meteorologists to make accurate predictions for winter weather patterns, but any forecast for steep dips in temperatures in the three nations could spark a more intense tussle for cargoes.