Smarter Business Weekly Energy Market Review - Desk with graphs

Energy Market Review, Monday 9th July

Headlines for Monday, 9th July

  • All gas and power contracts rose last week, following commodities upwards as the oil market tightened further. Day-ahead gas prices boosted 8.1% to 57.8p/th. Prices have been driven higher by low levels of wind output, which increased gas demand for power generation, as well as strong demand for storage injection across Europe and low levels of LNG imports.
  • Day-ahead power was supported by its gas counterpart, lifting 9.0% to £56.9/MWh. The contract hit a fresh three-month high of £58.45/MWh on 3 July as wind output plummeted, meaning more expensive gas-fired power plant was needed to meet demand.
  • All seasonal gas and power contracts increased last week. Seasonal gas contracts gained 2.1% on average, with winter 18 gas up 1.8% to 65.0p/th.
  • Seasonal power contracts went up 1.7% on average, with winter 18 and summer 19 power gaining 1.7% and 2.4% to £62.1/MWh and £51.1/MWh respectively.
  • Oil prices rose further last week due to an increasingly tight market. Continuing geopolitical tensions has led to a potential split in OPEC relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, as the latter responds to a call from US President Trump to cut oil prices.
  • EU ETS carbon prices averaged €15.4/t last week, currently supported by a recent increase in power and coal prices.
  • API 2 coal recovered recent losses, up 5.0% last week to average $91.1/t. API 2 coal prices hit a fresh five-year high at $91.60/t on 4 July.

Brent Crude Oil

Brent crude oil grew 2.4% to average $77.9/bl, up from $76.1/bl the previous week. Oil prices started last week at $78.6/bl as Saudi Arabia and Russia lifted output, officially relaxing the production cut agreement from 2016. Within-day prices peaked at $78.9/bl on 2 July. The announcement of force majeures at ports in Libya buoyed prices, and prices continue to be supported by the ongoing disruptions at Syncrude Canada’s production facilities.
As US and Chinese tariffs came into effect on 6 July, China is threatening a 25% duty on importing US crude. This has led to some Chinese importers looking elsewhere for supplies, with suggestions of Iranian crude as an option as many other Asian countries, including Japan and South Korea, look to cancel their Iranian crude imports ahead of US sanctions on the country in November.

API 2 Coal

API 2 coal grew 5.0% to average $91.1/t. API 2 coal prices hit a five-year high on 4 July, rising to $91.6/t.

EU ETS Carbon

EU ETS carbon prices increased 2.0% to average €15.4/t last week, up from €15.1/t the previous week. EUA prices are currently 210.7% higher than the same time last year when they were €5.0/t. EU ETS prices reached a three-week high within-day on 5 July, hitting €15.8/t.

NBP Gas

Near-term

All near-term gas contracts increased last week.
Day-ahead gas gained 8.1% to 57.8p/th. Gas prices rose from the start of the week due to higher gas for power demand and increased exports to Belgium. Prices declined in the middle of the week as the gas system was oversupplied.
Month-ahead gas prices grew 5.0% to 58.2p/th, up 4.1% from the same period last month when it was at 55.9p/th.

Seasonal

All seasonal gas contracts ascended last week, up 2.1% on average, following oil prices higher.
Winter 18 was up 1.8% to 65.0p/th and summer 19 increased 3.0% to 51.9p/th.

Annual October 18

Annual October 18 lifted 2.3% to 58.4p/th.
The contract is 2.3% above its price the same time last month (55.5p/th) and 346.9% higher than the same time last year (42.7p/th).

Baseload Power

Near-term

All near-term baseload power contracts rose last week.
Day-ahead power increased 9.0% to average £56.9/MWh, up from £52.2/MWh the previous week. Day-ahead power hit a fresh three-month high of £58.45/MWh on 3 July as wind and solar output plummeted. Day-ahead power was supported by a fall in wind output throughout the week, with wind accounting for only 8.5% of the generation mix.
Month-ahead power lifted 4.1% to £56.2/MWh, and September 18 power went up 2.7% to £58.5/MWh.

Seasonal

All seasonal baseload power prices experienced bullish growth last week, rising on average by 1.7%.
Winter 18 gained 1.7% to £62.1/MWh. Summer and winter 19 rose 2.4% and 2.2% to £51.1/MWh and £57.1/MWh respectively.

Annual October 18

The annual October 18 power contract continued higher, rising 2.0% to £56.6/MWh (up from £55.5/MWh).
This is £1.8/MWh (3.3%) higher than the same period last month, and an increase of 35.2% from last year when it was £41.9/MWh.