UK gas and power prices ended 2012 on a downtrend – with most periods slipping back to early October levels as unseasonably mild weather reduced demand across western Europe.
In electricity, the April ’13 Annual UK power, for example, slipped beneath £51/MWh (having been discussed as high as £55.3/MWh and as low as £48/MWh over the last year), while Day-ahead slumped to £43.5/MWh – down from £50/MWh in mid-December.
The tumble in Day-ahead values was nothing compared to that seen in Germany, where short-term prices went negative in the face of high wind power output and very low consumption due to the holiday and temperatures rising as much as 9°C above seasonal norms. The price of 2013 German electricity (Europe’s major benchmark) at the same time hit a record low of EUR 44/MWh.
In gas, the April ’13 Annual moved back up towards 66 p/th, having fallen to almost 65 p/th, while all other Annuals gained around 0.7 p/th.
Longer term prices have been taking much of their cue over the last fortnight from the weak short-term gas market, as well as persistent Eurozone fears and talk of global LNG prices coming under pressure this year.
Supplies have generally been robust, with the end of a significant Norwegian infrastructure outage helping – so much so that the main interconnector between the UK and mainland Europe has switched to exporting gas to the Continent, having imported record volumes in October and November.
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