Oil trading was limited with all eyes on the outcome of the U.S. Presidential election

09 November 2020

Demand on the UK gas system was down slightly on the previous day

Demand on the UK gas system was down slightly on the previous day but still slightly above the seasonal norm on Friday and the system was comfortably supplied throughout the trading day. Prompt gas prices fell significantly as a result, with the spot and day ahead contracts shedding 1.90p and the week ahead contract for this week giving up 1.85p. Gas-fired power generation was the main source of demand as heating demand fell slightly on the day. UK gas futures reversed Thursday’s gains as Brent crude fell below $40.00 a barrel again on Friday. Contracts for the remaining winter months eased by over 1.25p while seasonal contracts for Summer 2021 and beyond were down by an average of 0.75p.  

Baseload power futures on the GB market fell on Friday

Baseload power futures on the GB market fell on Friday in line with lower fuel and carbon prices. The front month was down by £0.85/MWh while the Q1 21 contract shed £1.05/MWh. Carbon prices declined on the day with EU ETS unit prices shedding 56 cent but remaining above €25.00 per tonne. Day ahead and week ahead contracts also eased with higher temperatures and lower demand forecast. Temperatures were forecast to increase over the weekend and remain above normal into mid-week, but wind availability was forecast to remain weak.  

The oil market turned lower again on Friday

The oil market turned lower again on Friday as the global benchmark, Brent crude, shed $1.48 to settle at $39.45 a barrel. This was still $2.00 a barrel higher week-on-week. It was difficult to assess whether Friday might signal a new slide in oil prices as trading was limited with all eyes on the outcome of the U.S. Presidential election which began swinging in favour of Joe Biden. West Texas Intermediate shed $1.65 to settle at $37.14 a barrel as U.S. drilling activity hit a 5-month high. Carbon prices also declined on Friday with EU ETS unit prices shedding 56 cent but remaining above €25.00 per tonne.  

Prompt gas prices are responding to the system shortfall

Demand on the UK gas system is well below the seasonal norm due to above normal temperatures. The supply side has been slow to ramp up from weekend levels however and the system is currently forecast 20MCM short. Prompt gas prices are responding to the system shortfall with increases of 1.90p and 1.60p on spot and day ahead contracts. The current system imbalance is seen as temporary and the front month contract has eased a little further in early trading this morning. Crude oil has bounced back above $40.00 a barrel again with the U.S. Presidential election now called and carbon prices are also up on Friday’s closing levels