Dutch TTF gas futures set open interest record on ICE, gas prices surge

25 May 2021

The Dutch natural gas Title Transfer Facility (TTF) benchmark futures contract reached an open interest record of 1.93 million contracts during May, contract host Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) has announced.

Open interest for TTF, or the number of outstanding contracts, is up around 20% year-on-year, said ICE.

The virtual hub in Northwest Europe is used to price European natural gas and is also for pricing some LNG imports into Northern Europe. 

ICE said the average daily volume in TTF futures has grown more than 40% since 2016, noting Europe has served as a balancing arm for the global gas markets with the expansion of storage and gas infrastructure.

ICE said April marked the second-highest volume month for TTF futures, with 2,760,000 lots traded. 

Gas prices rally

Gas prices have been strengthening in Europe and Asia this year, amid strong demand, low inventories and record carbon prices.

The Asia LNG benchmark recently moved above $10/mmBtu, while TTF has traded above $25 per megawatt-hour during May.

ICE also said that open interest in Japan-Korea Marker (JKM) futures surpassed 100,000 lots at the end of April, or 12% higher than at the same time last year.

April 16 marked the highest daily volume of 2021 for JKM, with 7,910 lots traded.