Gas prices moved down on Friday despite strong demand as temperatures for the second half of March were forecast to be mild, while supply levels also remained healthy. Higher imports from Norway and Holland resulted in a long gas UK system although an unplanned outage at the Rough storage facility limited some of the losses on the near-curve. Downward movement was also visible on the far-curve despite rising Brent, as contracts were influenced by the weaker demand outlook.
Day-Ahead gas displayed an increase yesterday afternoon following an outage at the Rough storage facility which tightened the UK gas system. However, the overall supply picture remained comfortable which helped the rest of the near-curve display losses. Downward movement further along the curve was slightly restricted by stronger Brent.
The Pound strengthened against the Euro yesterday which helped to weigh on near-curve gas contracts. Fundamentals were generally unchanged with colder weather resulting in high demand, restricting the downward movement somewhat. Elsewhere, Brent stabilised during the session and movement further along the curve was minimal as a result.
Demand levels are expected to increase over the next few days which offered support to the Day-Ahead gas contract yesterday. Sentiment across the rest of the curve was generally mixed with a colder weather forecast for the first half of March dictating some contracts, while a rise in the Pound against the Euro helped to weigh on others; stronger Brent was also a supportive factor on the far-curve.
Temperatures are expected to fall back below the seasonal average over the next few days which offered support to near-curve gas contracts yesterday. The change-over of the front month contract has also helped to lift prompt prices, as did a further decline in the Pound. Movement further along the curve was minimal as oil contracts stabilised during the session.