Gas prices oscillated between gains and losses
The opening trade for the May contract of 213.30p, down by 29.00p, proved it be a false dawn as the market quickly recovered the lost premium. The front month May contract briefly peaked at 252.50p but this increase was short lived, and the market traded in a narrow range thereafter. Gas prices oscillated between gains and losses as the market struggled to find a more certain direction. Prompt gas prices continued to firm as a number of Norwegian outages continued. At market settlement 2022 contracts were marked down by 1.62p on average while longer dated contract for Summer and Winter 2023 were up by 4.73p and 5.00p respectively. These periods were marked by a small number of trades and were quite illiquid.
Carbon EUAs eased further
Near term baseload power prices moved in the opposite direction to the gas and carbon markets as premium increased for Summer delivering contracts. A reduction in gas and carbon inputs had no impact as the power curve was supported by forecasts of lower French nuclear output in coming months. Increasing spark spreads fed into contracts as a result. GB baseload also pushed higher with increasing gas prices providing the direction in these periods. the prompt turned slightly lower with near term wind generation staying robust. Carbon EUAs eased further with the spot closing at €77.02, down €1.09 per tonne.
The fall in crude prices came about as the number of coronavirus cases increased globally
Crude oil prices maintained their trajectory lower during the session on Wednesday as the market focusses on potential demand issues rather than the proposed fifth round of sanctions to be imposed on Russia by the European Commission. The fall in crude prices came about as the number of coronavirus cases increased globally and the market fretted about further restrictions being imposed. The release of weekly US inventory accelerated the losses as the latest5 figures revealed a build in stocks over the past few weeks. At market close the Brent crude contract for June delivery was marked down by $5.57 at $101.07 a barrel.
UK gas market has opened weaker this morning
The UK gas market has opened weaker this morning and in addition features tight bid/offer spreads. The front month May contract is priced at 237.00p, down by 2.42p from last night’s close. Winter 2022 has yet to trade but the latest offer price is below where the market settled last night. The UK gas system is finely balanced this morning with a forecast demand of 287MCM being evenly matched by supplies. Imports from Norway are coming in at over 100MCM which would suggest that the outages at Sleipner and Gullfaks field have been resolved. Brent crude is trading at €102.18, up by $1.11 from the previous settlement.