March 20, 2018 / 8:51 AM / in 5 months

UK GAS-Prices jump as European supplies dwindle, demand stays high

LONDON, March 20 (Reuters) - British wholesale gas prices jumped almost 10 percent on Tuesday as supplies from Europe dwindled just as demand remained above average following an unseasonable cold snap.

* Within-day gas was up 4.5 pence at 58.50 pence per therm at 0840 GMT, having risen 9.3 percent in earlier trading.

* Day-ahead prices were up 1.35 pence at 56.00 p/therm.

* Flows along the IUK interconnector from Belgium were nominated at 6 million cubic metres (mcm); physical flows on Tuesday morning showed they were down 33 mcm.

* Flows along the BBL Interconnector from the Netherlands were down 9 mcm and an outage along the Vesterled pipeline reduced imports from Norway by 6 mcm.

* “MRS (medium-range storage) does not have much flexibility with record lowest stocks after the cold end of winter and so the market will price the gas needed today,” Thomson Reuters analyst Katarzyna Piaskowska said.

* “Particularly low IUK and BBL nominations probably mean the Continent supply will wait for substantially higher spreads as well”.

* The UK market is expected to be undersupplied for the day by 12.4 mcm, with demand of 337 mcm outstripping predicted flows of 324.6 mcm.

* Snow and freezing temperatures covered parts of Britain in recent days and gas demand remained stubbornly high — 23 percent above average for Tuesday.

* Temperatures are expected to average 3.1 degrees Celsius on Tuesday and on Wednesday, according to weather forecasts followed by Thomson Reuters.

* Day-ahead gas at the Dutch TTF hub rose 0.35 euro to 21.00 euros per megawatt hour.

* The benchmark Dec-18 EU carbon contract fell 0.03 euro to 11.03 euros a tonne.

* Thomson Reuters analyst view: here (Reporting by Sabina Zawadzki, editing by Louise Heavens)

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