In October, day-ahead gas soared 50.6% higher – the largest monthly gain since at least 2012 – to average 43.1p/th. On Wednesday 26 October day-ahead gas reached 48.0p/th, the highest price since April 2015, as gas demand for power generation and heating was expected to rise significantly the following day.
Seasonal gas prices increased 13.0% on average, with a rise in oil prices. Summer 17 gas experienced the largest gain of 14.9% to average 42.5p/th.
Winter 17 gas moved 13.1% higher to 48.0p/th. Seasonal gas prices were higher than their levels last year. At the end of October, Centrica announced that it was “still conducting preparatory works and reinstatement testing” at Rough gas storage site, which is expected to be completed in the second half of November.
These additional delays will further tighten supply for the coming winter.
Seasonal baseload power contracts on average increased 11.4% in October, following their gas counterparts higher. Summer 17 power rose 13.7% to £44.1/MWh. Winter 17 power gained 13.7% to £48.9/MWh.
Oil holds above the $50 per barrel mark throughout month
Brent crude oil prices rose 9.5% to average $51.6/bl in October, with prices holding above the $50/bl mark for nearly the entire month.
On Monday 10 October prices hit a one-year high of $53.5/bl, after Russia said it was ready to join the proposed deal to cap oil production.
API 2 coal went up 13.1% to average $66.9/t. On Monday 24 October API 2 coal reached $71.0/t, the highest price since December 2014.
At the end of October, 20 of France’s 58 nuclear reactors were shut for tests and EDF expects to halt four more in the coming months, sparking concerns over power supply tightness as lower temperatures lift demand. This has driven European power prices, fuelling gains across interconnected markets, pushing coal and carbon prices higher.
EU ETS carbon jumped 31.6% to average €5.7/t.
The month ahead: French nuclear uncertainty
Uncertainty remains as to when France’s nuclear capacity will recover or if more reactors will shut down in the coming weeks.