16th July 2013 | Posted by: Daniel Birkett | Market Analysis

On the spot market, week and month-ahead prices are higher as the restart date of several nuclear power plants in France has been postponed which has reduced nuclear availability. Wind production is currently at low levels and its highest peak is thought to be around 1GW. Improved BBL flows and reduced demand were the cause of a healthy UK gas system yesterday which helped move NBP spot prices and near curve prices down.

How did the energy markets close?

Continued warm temperatures and low demand led to bearish prompt contracts with Day-Ahead dropping by 1.3ppt to close at 64.3ppt. Smaller losses occurred further along the curve, August-13 fell by 0.1ppt as Brent did little to influence prices. Day-Ahead was the only contract to make a significant rise and ignored the restart of a number of coal and nuclear facilities. The decrease in prompt gas saw the Day-Ahead spark spread widen to around £4/MWh while Front-Month and September-14 both closed at £46.40/MWh.

How did the energy markets open?

The session opened with the system 6mcm short, later dropping to around 13mcm short which led to within-day rising to 65.5ppt. The Zeebrugge pipeline experienced higher exports and the WD NBP contract fell 1.25ppt lower than its Zeebrugge counterpart's contract. Seasonal contracts added 0.1ppt to their price and LNG send-outs strengthened to 24mcm after standing at 0mcm yesterday. The power curve saw a number of small gains this morning and wind generation is forecast to be lower tomorrow, expected to be around 782MW. Lower nuclear generation was offset by improved gas generation which increased its share of the generation mix to 27%. Front-Month APi2 coal went up to $77.40/t and coal-fired generation now holds a share of 36%.

1-year forward prices

Market close data has revealed that the 1-year forward price for both commercial gas & commercial electricity made a small gain - closing at 68.38ppt and £51.85/MWh, respectively. This can be seen in the graph below. Note: Brent Crude prices are taken from opening market data, and do not represent the price as it changes throughout the day.

Latest Brent Crude Oil prices

Brent and WTI prices increased yesterday on the back of growth data released in China and gasoline prices added 61 c$/b to its price. Brent timespreads also climbed higher as the Brent August-13 contract is set to expire today.