WEEKLY ENERGY MARKET REPORT: 13th April 2020
April 13, 2020
Ignite bring you the latest energy news across the UK and Europe. We track and analyse changes in the energy market to keep you informed and up to date. Here’s the latest news from the UK, Europe and the rest of the world.
Wholesale power and natural gas prices in the UK moved sideways last week, despite relatively strong fundamentals and while the overall commodity complex is still headline driven. Far-curve power contracts ticked up by 1% within-week as Thursday’s carbon rally provided support whereas the near-curve contracts experienced a slight drop by 0.5%.
In the wider energy complex, the market revolved around the OPEC+ meeting that took place on Thursday. In an intensive meeting, the group members of OPEC+ agreed to cut their oil production by further 9.7 million barrels per day in May and June, equal to about 10% of global supply before the viral outbreak. Russia and Saudi Arabia ended their price-war by voting in favour of the cuts, however Mexico was the only member of the cartel that was reluctant to cut its share of 400 thousand barrels a day. The USA finally agreed to reduce their supplies even further, in order to make up for Mexico’s share in oil production cuts.
Brent futures settled at $32.14 a barrel after moving 0.8% higher on Monday. The U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude settled 0.7% on Monday at $22.56, having dropped 1.5% in the previous session.
The UK energy market last week:
- UK natural gas prices followed last week’s price trajectory. The front of the curve slipped while longer term contracts closed the week almost flat as the bearish market was balanced out by the bullish signals from the oil market.
- UK wholesale power prices mirrored the natural gas price movement with near-curve contracts moving slightly on the upside while the change in the back of the curve was more moderate.
- The wholesale energy markets were late to start trading today as the return from the Bank Holiday is typically followed by lower liquidity.
UK Natural Gas prices:
British wholesale natural gas prices moved sideways in the previous week. The overall softness of the market added pressure on prices up till Thursday where the wider commodity complex provided support for most energy products. A reduction in the number of LNG scheduled arrivals for April has been factored in pricing.
Month ahead settled on Friday at 16.70p/th on Thursday, a drop of 1.3%, week on week.
In terms of curve contracts, Win-20 settled at 33.86p/th, that is a 0.4% higher, week on week, while Sum-21 settled flat at 30.90p/th.
UK Electricity Prices:
UK power prices mirrored the gas price movement while also influenced by the strong carbon complex that is now priced above €20.00/t.
Month-ahead closed on Thursday at £27.04/MWh, that is 3.6% higher, week on week.
Win-20 contract rose by 2.5% week on week and settled at £41.51/MWh, while Sum-21 closed 3.7% higher, at £37.82/MWh.
The UK trade deficit in February 2020 reached £2.79 billion, against a revised £2.41 billion surplus in January. Exports dipped by 5.8% to nearly a ten-month low, amid a 10.8% drop in goods shipments.
YoY inflation rate in the USA dropped to 1.5% in March from 2.3% in February and slightly lower than market expectations of 1.6%. This is the lowest inflation rate in the last 14 months and is attributed mainly to a 10.2% decline in gasoline costs amid an oversupplied market.
What to watch this week
Outlook: Fundamentals are the same as in the previous week with no significant change in supply flows. Renewables generation is expected to be relatively poor at the beginning of the week while no major outages are expected in Norwegian oil and gas fields this week.
Wednesday April 15: The US EIA (Energy Information Administration) is expected to publish the weekly changes in US crude stocks that occurred during the previous week. Any change is most likely to affect oil prices.
Friday April 17: The GDP in China for Q1 2020 will be published. Forecasts suggest a 6.2% negative change from the 6% uplift in Q4 2019. The indicator is very important for the Chinese and the global economy as it will show the impact the coronavirus effect had in the Chinese economy on the beginning of the new year.
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