German Economy Minister issued an early warning of possible gas supply rationing
The German Economy Minister issued an early warning of possible gas supply rationing for the country yesterday which prompted gas prices across Europe to open stronger. Germany is one of the many EU nations in dispute with Russia after Moscow looked for payment for gas contracts in roubles. Near curve futures on the NBP opened over 30.00p higher with April trading above 300.00p for a spell. Trading activity was focused on the front month, quarter and season as all these products expired on ICE yesterday. At the close, April was up 19.81p at 283.23p, while the summer closed at 289.09p, up 22.31p. Prompt prices witnessed similar gains yesterday as temperatures as set to fall at the weekend.
Carbon EUAs weakened with contracts closing down by around 3.5%
The payment dispute behind the rise in gas futures on the NBP underpinned GB baseload futures also. The April contract settled £18.00/MWh higher at £246.50/MWh on Wednesday while the summer contract closed at £246.25/MWh, up £14.00/MWh. In contracts carbon EUAs weakened with contracts closing down by around 3.5%. Wind generation picked up to 6.5GW on Wednesday but the prompt looked to rising demand as temperatures are forecast to fall for the remainder of the week. Baseload load for the day ahead settled at £227.00/MWh, up £2.88/MWh.
Reserves of U.S. crude oil were down by more than expected last week
Crude oil prices rebounded on Wednesday after a another draw down on U.S. crude oil stocks while fears of further sanctions increased as the Russian bombardment of Kyiv continued. Confidence in the output from the peace talks were dented after reports that Russia stepped up shelling activity on the Ukrainian capital less than a day after Moscow’s pledge to scale down military attacks, driving fears that further sanctions may be imposed. Reserves of U.S. crude oil were down by more than expected last week, as stockpiles fell by 3.4 million barrels, bringing inventories to 410 million barrels, the lowest since September 2018. The May contract for Brent settled $3.22 a barrel up at $113.45 a barrel.
Crude oil prices have plunged in early trading
Crude oil prices have plunged in early trading on Asian markets after news that the U.S. is considering releasing around 1 million barrels of oil a day from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Brent last traded at $109.00 a barrel, down $4.45 a barrel from last night’s close. Gas futures have flipped between losses and gains in early exchanges but the May contract which assumes front month status on ICE today last traded at 292.10p, up 5.52p. No trades have been completed on the prompt screen, but GB gas demand has bumped up to 300MCM this morning and supplies are lagging by 8MCM.