Gains on the NBP futures curve along with higher carbon EUAs halted the run of losses in the GB baseload curve

19 February 2021

UK gas demand remained below the norm

UK gas demand remained below the norm yesterday as supplies for power generation reduced to 37MCM leaving gas demand just above 200MCM. The system ran long for much of the session, but concerns were raised that the severe cold snap in Texas which has interrupted power supplies across the state could impact LNG production. There are up to 10 cargoes of LNG supplies expected in the UK over the next fortnight and 5 of those are believed to come from the U.S. Prompt prices rose by between 2.00p and 2.60p yesterday with most products settling above 44.00p. The prompt led gains lifted the near curve as March settled at 44.04p up 2.23p.  

 Power prices had declined since the start of the week

Gains on the NBP futures curve along with higher carbon EUAs halted the run of losses in the GB baseload curve yesterday. Power prices had declined since the start of the week but around half of those declines were reversed on Thursday. The from month contract posted the highest gain settling £1.65/MWh higher at £54.25/MWh with gains from the summer out averaging £0.50/MWh. The forecast for wind generation is to remain strong into the weekend but ease going into next week. This was enough to pressure the day ahead product which declined by a further £0.64/MWh to £47.30/MWh. Carbon EUAs gained 0.5% yesterday as the 2021 contract settled at €38.09 per tonne.  

Trading in the crude oil markets was mixed on Thursday

Trading in the crude oil markets was mixed on Thursday with prices flipping from gains to losses as the market weighed up the latest U.S. inventory figures and the refinery outages in Texas. Brent peaked at $65.52 before closing down at $63.93 a barrel recording only the second loss in the last fifteen sessions. The U.S. benchmark closed at $60.52 a barrel yielding 62 cents on the day after an element of profit taking ran prices down late on. Early price support was owed to the week’s inventory report which listed a fall of 7.3million barrels in U.S. crude oil stocks. While production cuts by OPEC+ have supported crude oil prices recently it is believed that the group is considering relaxing these from April.  

Crude oil prices have continued to move lower this morning

Crude oil prices have continued to move lower this morning with Brent currently 83 cents a barrel lower at $63.10. WTI has lost $1.52 a barrel to last trade at $59.53. It is believed that refinery activity in Texas may take some time to restart after the severe freeze suspended activity in the area. This will likely lead to a big build in U.S. stocks over the coming weeks. Closer to home, gas futures are trading mixed with contracts within +/-0.20p of last nights close. Exchanges on prompt products are thin with very wide bid and offer spreads contributing to the low liquidity in the market.