Day-ahead peak power soared by 36.9% to average £91.5/MWh in November, the highest monthly rise since at least 2011.
Near-term baseload and peak power contracts have been largely supported by continued French nuclear supply fears. Day-ahead baseload power jumped 16.7% to average £66.4/MWh. On Monday 7 November, the contract reached £152.0/MWh, with higher demand and lower wind generation forecast for the following day.
In November, day-ahead gas continued to rise, up 12.4% to average 48.4p/th. On Thursday 3 November, the contract climbed to 53.8p/th, the highest price since February 2015, as colder temperatures and a bleak LNG outlook supported prices.
Seasonal gas prices slipped 1.6% on average, with a decline in oil prices. Summer 19 gas experienced the largest fall of 3.3% to 42.0p/th. In contrast, the summer 17 contract moved 0.6% higher to 42.8p/th. Seasonal gas prices were higher than their levels last year. At the end of November, Centrica announced that Rough gas storage site will be available for gas withdrawals no later than from 9 December, meaning more supplies during winter, even though the site is only 35% full at present.
Seasonal baseload power contracts on average decreased 2.6% in November, following their gas counterparts lower. Summer 17 power lost 0.6% to £43.9/MWh. Winter 17 power slipped 1.6% to £48.1/MWh.
Oil prices hit a one-month high as OPEC agree first output cut since 2008
Brent crude oil prices lost 8.4% to average $47.2/bl in November, with prices moving back below the $50.0/bl mark for nearly the entire month.
Prices were influenced heavily by speculation leading up to the predicted outcome of the latest OPEC meeting, held on 30 November. At the meeting OPEC agreed on its first oil output reduction since 2008. The deal also included the group’s first coordinated action with non-OPEC member Russia in 15 years. This saw prices hit a one-month high of $50.1/bl on the day of the meeting.
API 2 coal went up 5.2% to average $70.3/t.
On Thursday 17 November, the price fell to a one-month low of $64.0/t. This month China announced a relaxation of restrictions on domestic coal production, ahead of peak winter demand for heating fuels, allowing mines 54 more working days a year. This has started to limit import demand there and is set to slacken global supply.
EU ETS carbon lost 0.3% to average €5.6/t. On Wednesday 30 November, prices fell to a two-month low of €4.52/t.
The month-ahead: Cold weather at end of year
There is increasing likelihood of a colder than normal and less windy than normal end to the year across northwest Europe, according to Marex Spectron’s meteorology desk. The chances that these conditions may spill over into the New Year have also increased. This would create higher gas and power demand, amid already tight capacity margins and French nuclear outages.