UK gas prices turned higher again on Friday
Despite a comfortably supplied system, UK gas prices turned higher again on Friday with futures contracts gaining for a third consecutive day. Lower demand and adequate supply saw the spot price ease slightly on the day. Another dip in temperatures kept forecast demand above normal for the remainder of the month and the week ahead and balance-of-month contracts gained 1.50p and 1.40p respectively. Storage withdrawals fell slightly but LNG send-out picked up as a further 10 cargoes are due to berth at UK ports by the end of the month. The May, June and Q3 contracts all gained on the day and finished around 8% higher week-on-week.
Carbon EUAs closed 0.6% up
GB baseload power futures settled higher again on Friday with prices for the next 12 months gaining over £1.00/MWh and finished around 5% higher week-on-week. Seasonal contracts beyond Winter 21 recorded more modest gains on the day. Carbon EUAs closed 0.6% up to close just below recent highs set earlier in the week. Baseload for the day ahead continued to ease off recent highs and shedding £1.50/MWh on Friday. Remaining prompt contracts gained on forecast low temperatures and low wind generation continuing for the rest of the month.
Crude oil recorded its only day-on-day loss of the week
Crude oil recorded its only day-on-day loss of the week on Friday with Brent shedding 17 cents to $66.87 but still gained $3.82, or 6%, week-on-week. It was a similar story for the U.S. benchmark, West Texas Intermediate, which slipped 30 cents to settle at $66.77 a barrel. Both benchmarks recorded their biggest weekly gains in 6 weeks as optimism mounts for demand recovery. Both the International Energy Agency and OPEC have revised their demand estimates for 2021 upwards based on strong economic growth in China and signs of demand recovery in the U.S. as the vaccination programme there progresses. Demand in Europe and India remains subdued, however.
Storage withdrawals have fallen off substantially as demand has dipped
Gas demand has been slow to pick up from weekend levels and is currently forecast at just 228MCM for today. Forecast deliveries are running almost 20MCM long with LNG send-out ramping up to over 80MCM as 4 fresh cargoes arrived at UK ports over the weekend. Storage withdrawals have fallen off substantially as demand has dipped to match seasonal norms for the first time this month. Wind generation continues at under 2GW, but overall power demand has fallen compared to last week. Prompt gas contacts at the NBP have yet to trade while near futures continue to strengthen this morning. Crude oil prices are virtually unchanged.