17th July 2013 | Posted by: Daniel Birkett | Market Analysis

The electricity spot market was at its highest point since late May this morning as numerous outages at thermal plants have affected supply. Wind generation is forecast to be lower than anticipated today and European Energy Exchange Front-Month prices increased. The UK system was undersupplied yesterday as BBL flows were reduced to zero which helped NBP spot and near curve prices make gains. However UK production has improved this morning and the BBL pipeline was fully operational again which should lead to bearish movement on August-13 contracts.

How did the energy markets close?

There was mixed movement on the gas curve yesterday with Day-Ahead climbing 0.05ppt as a consequence of the short system. The rest of the curve saw small losses with the help of the warm weather forecast and ignored stronger Brent; NBP storage levels currently stand at 63%. On the power curve Day-Ahead closed at £49.30/MWh and Front-Month rose to £46.70/MWh as the warm weather is expected to see an increase in demand as people take cooling measures. Most contracts saw no movement except Summer-15 and Winter-15 which made losses. Carbon Spot EUAs added €0.08/tn to their price and Spot CERs shed €0.01/tn.

How did the energy markets open?

The gas curve displayed very little movement today with most contracts making a small gain or failing to register any change. The session opened with the system 2mcm short although flows via the South Hook and St Fergus terminals have improved, while the Theddlethorpe facility has also returned online after undergoing maintenance. Seasonal contracts saw increases which ranged between 0.05ppt and 0.20ppt as Front-Month Brent Crude moved above $109/bbl as a result of refinery issues in the US. The power curve saw similar movement to gas as the majority of contracts added a small amount to their price. Day-Ahead went up by £0.40/MWh, Front-Month increased by £0.05/MWh and seasonal contracts rose on the back of stronger Front-Month Brent and APi2 coal.

1-year forward prices

Market close data has revealed that the 1-year forward price for commercial gas increased slightly while commercial electricity saw no change - closing at 68.43ppt 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 1st-nearby prices moved down this morning and opened at $107.5/bbl following the expiry of the Brent August-13 contract. Front-Month Brent managed to hit a high of $109/bbl last night following issues at US refineries which led to in an increase in US gasoline prices.