Carbon prices continued to move to new highs

29 April 2021

Prompt gas prices at the NBP gained an average of 1.87p

Demand on the UK gas system increased on Wednesday as temperatures fell sharply but increased wind availability offset a possible further increase as gas-fired power demand reduced.  Prompt gas prices at the NBP gained an average of 1.87p as an early supply surplus was reduced over the course of the day.  Tuesday’s surge in gas futures prices in Western Europe subsided yesterday as the markets assessed the overall supply outlook for the summer months in light of a possible reduction in Russian supply.  UK prices for the remainder of Q2 moved marginally higher while Q3 was down fractionally on Wednesday.  The front winter contract gained 0.58p while contracts further out the curve recorded only marginal gains.

Baseload contracts further out the curve recorded more significant gains

The rally in GB near futures earlier in the week subsided on Wednesday as gas price movement on the near curve was marginal on the day.  Baseload contracts further out the curve recorded more significant gains on the day however as carbon prices continued to move to new highs with the 2023 EU ETS unit price settling above €49.00 per tonne for the first time. Despite increased wind availability yesterday, the day ahead baseload power price gained over £5.00/MWh as wind was forecast to fall off today.  Wind power averaged 6GW on Wednesday but is forecast to drop below 4GW today.

Crude oil markets absorbed news that OPEC were pressing ahead with their increase in production

Crude oil markets absorbed news that OPEC were pressing ahead with their intended increase in production despite concerns for demand in India and Japan where coronavirus has surged again.  The market may have reservations about this move but these were partly outweighed by news of increasing demand for oil products in the U.S., particularly gasoline.  Brent crude gained 85 cents to settle at $67.27 a barrel while the U.S. benchmark, West Texas Intermediate, was up 2% to settle at $64.18 a barrel.

Brent crude has gained a further 45 cents overnight

As temperatures remain below the seasonal norm and wind generation falls off, demand on the UK gas system is almost 30MCM above normal this morning.  Forecast deliveries are running 12MCM long with storage withdrawals picking up as holders’ cash-in on the current strong prices available.  Movement on prompt contracts at the NBP has been marginal in early trading while the May contract has gained 0.57p on its final trading day before expiry.  Movement else-where along the curve is unremarkable so far this morning.  Brent crude has gains a further 45 cents overnight to currently trade at $67.72 a barrel.