26th July 2013 | Posted by: Daniel Birkett | Market Analysis

Spot prices fell slightly yesterday due to the usual drop in demand on Fridays and increased supply levels. Nuclear availability has also improved slightly in Germany and France which should limit any gains over the weekend. The UK gas system opened today's session long as Langeled flows remain strong and BBL flows are improving steadily. This should lead to prices turning bearish today as LNG flows are also healthy. Today's prices can also be found in an easy to read table on our 'current UK energy price' page.

How did the energy markets close?

The gas curve remained largely unchanged yesterday with Day-Ahead shedding 0.10ppt from its price and the biggest change was seen on the Summer-15 contract which added 0.25ppt. The system opened the session 10mcm short and did not move long at any point throughout the day. Flows via the BBL pipeline opened at 7mcm but fell to 0mcm again later in the day. Day-Ahead power remained firm on Thursday and closed the session just above £50.00/MWh similar to its closing price for the last three days. Any price drops were limited by numerous outages at facilities which have limited nuclear availability. Gas-fired generation is still being relied on as a consequence and held the biggest share of the generation mix yesterday.

How did the energy markets open?

The system opened 9mcm long which led to Day-Ahead falling by 0.20ppt and Front-Month dropping by 0.05ppt. There was little change to gas flows as an improvement via the Bacton BBL countered any pipelines which experienced reduced flows. Further along the curve, September-13, Winter-13 and Summer-15 all remained unchanged while other contracts registered small gains. On the power curve, Day-Ahead and Front-Month followed a similar direction to gas and reduced in price. Today also saw improved wind and hydro generation which supported the bearish movement. The far curve also saw little change while oil went up by $0.67/bbl and coal increased by $0.75/tn.

1-year forward prices

Market close data has revealed that the 1-year forward price for commercial gas & commercial electricity made slight losses - closing at 68.18ppt and £51.70/MWh, respectively. This can be seen in the graph below.

Energy Market Analysis

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

The Brent/WTI spread continues to widen and US gasoline cracks are also lower which led to Brent prices strengthening. The equity markets remain unpredictable at present and the North Sea Forties pipeline is still being restricted with flows reduced by 40kb/d.