European energy markets saw some volatility on Friday.

13 March 2023

Gas Market

The European energy markets saw some volatility on Friday with prices pushing higher in all sectors.  Near NBP futures rose by over 23.00p on the day with April contract closing at 133.56p.  It is the largest one-day gain for the contract since 07-Dec-22, when April settled at 371.58p and since then gas prices have tumbled.  Prompt prices added around 18.50p on average on the day with the spot closing at 138.00p, up 21.95p.  Earlier comments from the EU Energy Commissioner for Energy seem to have sparked the panic which started late on Thursday while strikes in France also added to the frenzy.  Kadri Simson called for member states not to sign new contracts for LNG with Moscow as part of the bloc’s attempt to reduce reliance on Russian supplies.  

Power Market

The GB baseload power curve climbed for a second day on Friday with April, the front month gaining £12.70/MWh to settle at £138.35/MWh.  The lead summer and winter contracts settled around £15.00/MWh higher as gains in gas and carbon prices provided the support.  Carbon EUAs increased by close to 1.0% on the day with the spot price closing at €96.90/ tonne. Baseload power for the day ahead bucked the trend of the day and the contract settled below the £100.00/MWh mark for the first time since early January.  Wind generation is expected to get close to 20.0GW on Monday, over 50% of expected demand.  

 Oil Market

Crude oil prices rebounded on Friday, buoyed by U.S. economic data which came in better than anticipated.  The latest labour stats showed stronger performance in nonfarm payrolls which rekindled hopes that the U.S. Fed could ease back on the level of interest increases to come.  Earlier in the week, Jerome Powell said he was prepared to speed up interest rate hikes if necessary and this weighed on crude oil prices all through the week.  On the supply side crude oil exports to the East from Russia were suspended again on Friday due to a severe weather warning at the port of Novorossiysk in the Black Sea.  At the close of play, Brent for May delivery settled $1.19 higher at $82.78 a barrel.  

Markets this morning.

NBP wholesale gas futures opened softer this morning, but losses have slowly been eroded over the first hour of trading.  The April contract opened at 131.00p, fell to 122.00p but is currently at 129.25p, which is 4.31p down from Friday’s close. The summer contract is also around 4.50p down at 131.00p.  Trading for the prompt products has been thin with only the day ahead contract active on that board and is 10.90p down.  The GB gas demand is down to 250mcm for today and supplies are long by 10MCM.  Crude oil prices have failed to consolidate Fridays gains and Brent for May delivery is $1.38 a barrel down.
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