Volatility drives UK, Dutch broker gas volumes to seven-month high

LONDON Mon Nov 5, 2012 4:00pm GMT

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LONDON (Reuters) - Volumes of British and Dutch gas trades arranged via London-based brokers rose to a seven-month high in October, broker data showed on Monday, driven by an increase in price volatility.

Volumes traded in Britain's NBP market rose 9 percent year on year to 1,045 terawatt-hours (TWh), the highest monthly total since March, while Dutch trades gained 24 percent on 2011 levels to 692 TWh, data compiled by the London Energy Brokers' Association showed.

Last month, which saw the start of the peak-demand winter season, registered higher volumes than the summer months as price volatility increased, making it attractive for traders to take positions to make profits.

"October volumes ticked up a little due to some more interesting price action, which had been lacking for a while," said one UK gas broker.

Most price volatility has been focused on the prompt, where Norwegian supply problems and a lack of liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply in combination with colder weather caused stronger price swings than in the summer.

"That's why we saw a pickup in October, however the curve still remains pretty quiet," the broker said.

(Reporting by Karolin Schaps; editing by James Jukwey)

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