Crude oil prices have dropped by around a dollar a barrel this morning

15 January 2021

UK gas demand was above the seasonal norm

LNG prices in East Asia continued to ease yesterday and this gave some comfort to the prompt and near curve contracts on the NBP. Declines of up to 2.60p were recorded by prompt products yesterday as contracts settled between 64.00p to 65.00p. There was less volatility evident in the futures market yesterday as near months eased by up to 2.00p, however longer curve contracts settled flat or marginally higher. UK gas demand was above the seasonal norm once again on Thursday as demand for gas fired generators remains high while wind generation is low. There could be further tests for the National Grid in the coming days as temperatures are expected to cool across Northern Europe.  

There was a new record set for the baseload day ahead

There was a new record set for the baseload day ahead product yesterday as forecasts for wind generation fell to 2.7GW. Supply margins have been tight in recent days, which has led to spikes in the spot prices and with temperatures expected to fall there was support for the prompt yesterday. At the close the day ahead was up by £85.07/MWh to £196.83/MWh. Baseload futures eased by an average of £0.60/MWh on Thursday as the market tracked gas futures lower. In the Carbon market, early losses were partially reversed through the session and contracts out to 2023 closed around 12 cent per tonne down with the spot at €33.42 per tonne.  

 Crude oil prices traded rangebound during Thursday’s session

Crude oil prices traded rangebound during Thursday’s session and a weaker dollar was the main driver of prices on the day as Brent close marginally higher. Earlier in the day, reports from China showed crude oil imports in the second and third quarter were at record levels which contributed to an increase of 7.3% for 2020. However, concerns of a slowing in global demand has resurfaced as reports of further lockdowns in China continue to emerge. Brent for March delivery settled at $56.42 a barrel up 36 cents while the February contract for West Texas Intermediate added 66 cents to close at $53.57 a barrel.  

 Gas prices in the UK have continued to soften

Crude oil prices have dropped by around a dollar a barrel this morning as demand fears increase with further reports of lockdowns in Chinese cities. The second largest oil consuming nation has reported the highest number of new cases of the virus in 10 months and has now 28 million of the population under lockdown. Closer to home, gas prices in the UK have continued to soften with futures at the front of the curve up to 3.00p lower in early exchanges. Trading on the NBP prompt has yet to get going but there are no supply issues as the gas system is forecast 7MCM long against a demand of 358MCM for today