Crude oil prices have firmed overnight in Asian markets after positive news on vaccines

03 March 2021

A short gas system provided support to prompt prices on the NBP

A short gas system provided support to prompt prices on the NBP on Tuesday as the spot and day ahead contracts settled 2.10p and 1.25p higher respectively. Gas demand was up at 333MCM on account of extra gas fired generators being required to make up for the low contribution from wind in the UK power stack. Temperatures are forecast to drop at the tail end of the week and demand is expected to rise further as heating load increases. Storage supplies ramped up to 57MCM yesterday while LNG send out topped 80MCM. The gains on the prompt curbed losses to natural gas futures yesterday as contracts settled an average of 0.35p lower.  

The upward surge in prompt prices and gains in carbon supported baseload futures on Tuesday

Wind generation contributed less than 0.5GW to the UK power grid on Tuesday and with demand forecast at 40.7GW, supply margins remained tight. Prompt prices soared as a result with the day ahead eventually settling at £105.33, the highest close since 15-January. After three days of losses carbon EUAs rose by 3.3% yesterday, the 2021 contract at €38.35 a tonne. The upward surge in prompt prices and gains in carbon supported baseload futures on Tuesday. The front month settled £0.35/MWh up at £51.85/MWh while the summer contract closed at £50.10/MWh up £0.50/MWh.

 Crude oil prices closed at a new two-week low yesterday

Crude oil prices closed at a new two-week low yesterday as the market looks ahead to the OPEC meeting at the end of the week and expects the group to discuss increasing production from April. Brent eased by 99 cents a barrel chalking up a fourth day of losses, the longest streak of declines since mid-September 2020. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, closed at $59.75 a barrel down 89 cents. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries along with Russia and other large producers are scheduled to meet on Thursday and may agree to allow up to 1.5million barrels per day back into the market. Saudi Arabia is expected to end its additional 1 million barrel per day cut, while Russia and others could increase production by 500,000 barrels per day.  

 NBP futures market has also opened softer with the front month, down a penny

Gas demand is forecast lower than originally expected on the National Grid site this morning and supplies are just 3MCM shy at 318MCM. The short system has largely been ignored by the market with the spot and day ahead products over a penny down in early exchanges. The NBP futures market has also opened softer with the front month, April, last trading at 39.51p, down a penny. The early losses have also fed into longer curve contracts with the winter-21 product down by a half a penny. Crude oil prices have firmed overnight in Asian markets after positive news on vaccines in the U.S. and Brent is 85 cents a barrel up in latest trades.