The markets were watchful as Joe Biden signed in a number of orders which could cause concern for U.S. demand.

22 January 2021

Trading on near curve contracts remained volatile

With temperatures dropping as the weekend approaches the spot and day ahead products firmed by around a penny yesterday while NBP futures settled mixed. UK gas demand is forecast to rise on Friday, as wind generation eases gas fired generators will be called on to shoulder the demand from the power stack. Gas demand was 305MCM on Thursday and supplies were around 7MCM short late in the afternoon with LNG flows at 27MCM, this is less than 20% of the levels seen this time last year. Trading on near curve contracts remained volatile with February peaking at 58.51p and settling just over a penny above the intra-day low at 56.57p.    

Carbon EUAs settled higher on Thursday

Wind generation is forecast to fall from yesterday’s levels of 11.6GW to just 3.0GW by Monday, while temperatures are to drop further to put extra pressure on the power grid. Reports of an unplanned outage at a generator in Heysham also added to the upside yesterday as the day ahead baseload product closed £4.15/MWh up at £63.90/MWh. Carbon EUAs settled higher on Thursday with the spot adding €1.20 to close at €34.02 per tonne. Trading for baseload futures closed mixed yesterday with near months showing average gains of £0.40/MWh while contracts from the summer out were either slightly higher or flat.  

West Texas Intermediate eased by 18 cents a barrel

The crude oil markets remained range bound on Thursday with Brent closing just 2 cents a barrel higher while West Texas Intermediate eased by 18 cents a barrel. With yesterday being the first full day with the new U.S. President in charge, the markets were watchful as Joe Biden signed in a number of orders which could cause concern for U.S. demand. Increases in the number of new Covid-19 cases along with reports of more or extended lockdowns have also dented global demand and continues to be a concern for the market. The weekly inventory report on U.S. oil data should be of interest to the market when released today, recent reports have shown U.S. crude reserves falling but distillate stocks have grown.  

The gains in the prompt have fed into the near month

As forecast, UK gas demand has increased to 333MCM today as wind generation declines and gas fired plant is deployed. The supply side is forecast to run 22MCM short and prompt prices have opened sharply higher with the spot and day ahead products around 3.00p up in early exchanges. The gains in the prompt have fed into the near months on the NBP curve with the February contract last trading at 60.00p, up 3.43p. The summer contract has gained just over a penny and contracts beyond that are around 0.50p higher. Brent is a dollar down at $55.08 this morning on news of further lockdowns in China.