Brazil’s Natural Gas Trade Jumps 17% Topping 2008 Sales

Natural gas refinery from Petrobras, Brazil Sales of natural gas in Brazil reached a record value in September, 51.2 million cubic meters a day – breaking the record for product sales in 2008. There was a 0.37% increase in comparison with August, with greater demand in all sectors, except for industry.

When compared with September last year, the figures show more significant growth: 16.55%. This increase was boosted by the electric sector, in which consumption dropped in recent years due to the lower usage of thermoelectric plants. In August, sector expansion reached 35.57%.

The figures were supplied by the Brazilian Natural Gas Distributors Association (Abegás) and show that, last month, the Southeast maintained the leadership in consumption of the product with a daily demand, in August, of almost 40 million cubic meters in the states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Espí­rito Santo and Minas Gerais, which answered to 78% of the national average.

The figures supplied by Abegás also show that the Northeast, South, Midwest and North regions were responsible, respectively, for 6.9 million cubic meters a day, 4.1 million cubic meters a day, 154,000 cubic meters a day, and 2,500 cubic meters a day of natural gas.

According to Abegás, the industrial sector (which answers to 52.27% of national gas consumption) closed September with a 1.36% reduction. In the month, the 2,547 Brazilian industries that use natural gas consumed 26.7 million cubic meters of the input.

The sector that presented the most expressive growth in trade was cogeneration, a process with simultaneous generation of thermal and electric energy from natural gas. In August, the sector had traded around 500,000 cubic meters per day, whereas in September 620,000 cubic meters of natural gas were consumed per day.

With regard to the housing sector, which had been presenting slight drops due to the seasonal period (holidays), returned to growth, and in September consumption was 1.59% greater than in August.

With this, the 1.3 million plus houses that consume piped natural gas demanded around 800,000 cubic meters of the product per day. The trade sector presented growth of 0.83% from August to September, with 21,526 establishments consuming 632,230 cubic meters per day.

In counterpart, according to the Abegás, the automotive sector – which is the most prominent in the market – "is still stagnant", maintaining the average of 6.5 million cubic meters consumed per day.

The constant price increases of vehicle natural gas caused the demand to drop 7.62% from September 2007 to September 2008. "This retraction was mainly moved by fuel price increases, which shook the confidence of users with regard to vehicle natural gas," stated Abegás.

ABr

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