April 13, 2017 / 8:11 AM / 4 months ago

UK GAS-Prices rise as cooler temperatures push up demand

LONDON, April 13 (Reuters) - British wholesale gas prices rose on Thursday morning as a dip in temperatures pushed up demand. * Day-ahead gas was 0.37 pence higher at 38.85 pence per therm at 0803 GMT. * The within-day contract rose by 0.55 pence to 38.75 p/therm. * "The driver today is much colder temperatures. That is the general picture across most of the Continent next week," a trader said. * Average temperatures in Britain are expected to dip early next week, while France could be 3 degrees lower than normal and Germany up to 4 degrees below normal, forecasts show. * Temperatures over the long Easter weekend will be around 12-15 degrees Celsius by day, nearly half of temperatures experienced last Sunday in southern England, UK's Met Office said. * Colder weather in continental Europe is likely to drive more demand for imports from Britain next week, traders said. * Demand on Thursday is forecast to be 254 million cubic metres (mcm), 21 mcm above the seasonal norm, while flows are forecast at nearly 259 mcm/day, National Grid data shows. * Temperatures over the long Easter weekend will be around 12-15 degrees Celsius by day, nearly half of temperatures last UK's Met Office said. * Thomson Reuters gas analyst Dean Hunt said the unavailability of Rough gas storage site for injection until the end of next April means that contract holders might be more inclined to withdraw and monetise the gas they have in store. * "The market can ill-afford this however, particularly with the interconnector exporting almost as much as possible, so if this happens the potential is there for lower prices," Hunt said. * Currently, there is around 375 mcm of gas in Rough, around one tenth of its capacity and enough to meet around one and a half day's demand. * In the Dutch gas market, day-ahead gas price at the TTF hub was up 0.05 euro at 15.70 euros per megawatt hour. * Benchmark Dec-17 EU carbon contract inched up by 0.03 euro to 4.90 euros per tonne. * Thomson Reuters analyst view: here (Reporting by Nina Chestney)

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