Weekly EIA report showed US oil inventories fell last week by a hefty 6.6M barrels

11 February 2021

Demand climbed to a new winter-to-date high of 412MCM

As demand climbed to a new winter-to-date high of 412MCM, deliveries remained ahead of demand throughout the trading day and prompt gas prices fell as a result. The day ahead contract shed 2.45p while the balance of month contract was down by 3.05p as milder weather is forecast for the second half of the month. A second day of losses on the UK gas market more than reversed Monday’s surge higher as the market looked beyond the current high demand situation with more confidence in supply-side resilience. The front month shed 1.82p to settle below last Friday’s closing level.    

  Carbon prices gained over €1.00 per tonne

Baseload futures power contracts were inclined to move lower across the board but another hike in carbon prices saw contracts further out the move slightly higher. The front month shed £1.17 but contracts beyond Q2 gained marginally as carbon prices gained over €1.00 per tonne to settle in a range between $39.30 and $39.90 per tonne. Day ahead power fell by £8.00/MWh to settle at £71.72/MWh despite falling wind availability. Wind power contributed less than 5GW on Wednesday and is forecast to remain subdued today while demand is forecast to remain elevated with temperatures remaining below freezing in many parts of the UK.  

 Crude oil prices continued to strengthen on Wednesday

Crude oil prices continued to strengthen on Wednesday with help from falling U.S. inventory levels and a further weakening of the dollar versus other major currencies. Brent crude was up by 38 cents to $61.47, while West Texas gained 50 cents to settle at a 13-month high of $58.68 a barrel. Today’s price-rise was supported by a weekly EIA report that showed US oil inventories fell last week by a hefty 6.6M barrels, putting total US stockpiles at 469M barrels, just 2% above the five-year average. That number indicates that global supplies are tightening as the US and Russia, as well as Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members hold back production in an effort to rebalance the market.  

Both spot and day ahead prices are down by over 3.00p in early trading

Demand on the UK gas system remains above 400MCM with forecast deliveries running 20MCM above demand. The supply side is boosted by massive LNG send-out of 138MCM. Both spot and day ahead prices are down by over 3.00p in early trading while the front month has opened lower for a third consecutive day and is currently trading at 45.30p. Contracts further along the curve are all down on last night’s closing levels. Crude oil has also fallen overnight, although the slippage is minor, and Brent was marked up at €61.17 at 0900. EU carbon emissions prices continue to move closer to €40.00 per tonne.