Crude oil is now trading at its highest level since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic

04 February 2021

 The front month contract recorded the most significant move on the day

Lower heating and gas-fired power generation saw demand on the UK gas system running just under 300MCM and deliveries ran 10 to 15MCM long yesterday. The well-supplied gas system remained in surplus throughout the trading day and prompt gas prices eased by an average of 2.25p. UK gas futures recorded mixed movement yesterday with near futures easing but seasonal contracts beyond Summer 21 averaging gains of 0.60p. The front month contract recorded the most significant move on the day, shedding 1.41p to settle at 47.23p while April was down by 0.57p.  

Day ahead baseload power gained slightly

GB baseload power futures beyond the second quarter recorded gains in line with rising gas and carbon prices on Wednesday. The EU carbon market reached new highs on Wednesday with ETS unit prices gaining almost €2.50 per tonne to finish in a range between €37.40 and €38.00 per tonne. Day ahead baseload power gained slightly despite falling prompt gas prices as wind generation is forecast lower for today. Power demand is also expected to pick up from tomorrow as cold weather returns with heavy forecast for the East of England and Scotland.  

Brent crude was up by a dollar to $58.46 a barrel

For a second consecutive day, crude oil prices gained a dollar or more and crude is now trading at its highest level since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Brent crude was up by a dollar to $58.46 a barrel yesterday and by $2.65 week-on-week. West Texas Intermediate also rose to a one-year high to settle at $55.69 after the EIA reported another bullish decline in US crude-oil inventories. The report showed a decline in U.S. crude stocks of almost 1 million barrels last week that left total commercial US crude-oil inventories at 476M barrels, the lowest total in 11 months.  

Front month and Summer prices have opened marginally up

Demand on the UK gas system remains just under 300MCM and the system is currently forecast 20MCM long. The forecast cold spell has yet to develop and wind generation is holding up at 8GW, helping keep gas demand below the seasonal norm. With increased demand expected from tomorrow, the day ahead contract has gained 1.20p in early trading this morning. Front month and Summer prices have opened marginally up on last night’s closing levels as crude oil continues to strengthen. Carbon prices are also showing continued strength with the target price of €40.00 per tonne now looking almost inevitable.