PARIS, April 19 (Reuters) - European spot electricity prices for day-ahead delivery rose on Wednesday, lifted by strong demand due to a cold snap and supported by tight supply, with the French spot contract nearing its highest level since early March.
* The French baseload contract for Thursday delivery surged 9.67 percent, or 3.7 euros, to a six-week high of 41.95 euros ($44.98) per megawatt-hour (MWh), a level last seen on March 8.
* The German contract rose 3.3 percent to 38.75 euros/MWh.
* French electricity demand is expected to rise by 1.7 gigawatts (GW) on Thursday to 57.7 GW, according to Thomson Reuters data, while the average temperature will fall by 0.8 degree Celsius.
* German consumption will rise by 100 megawatts to 70.7 GW, the data shows.
* A trader said temperatures in France were at about 4 degrees below seasonal norm, which was supporting demand.
* Unexpected outages at two French nuclear reactors; a delay in ramping up output at a third, and unplanned outages at two coal-fired and a gas power generation plant, had contributed to tight supply, another trader said.
* French state-controlled utility EDF reported outages at its Fessenheim 1 and Cattenom 1 nuclear reactors on Wednesday.
* A spokesman said the reactors were expected to be back online within a few days and that the issues were in the non-nuclear section of the reactors.
* Available French nuclear power is seen at 73.92 percent of capacity, compared with 74.71 percent the previous day.
* French wind power production will fall by 1.4 GW day-on-day on Thursday to 2.2 GW, worsening the supply outlook.
* German wind power production for Thursday is seen declining by 4.8 GW to 4.7 GW, adding bullish support to spot prices.
* Along the forward curve, the German Cal ‘18 benchmark price rose 0.33 percent to 30.30 euros/MWh, supported by gains in coal and carbon as oil steadied..
* The equivalent French contract added 0.42 percent to 35.90 euros/MWh.
* EU carbon emissions rights prices rose by 1.23 percent to 4.92 euros a tonne.
* In eastern Europe, the Czech power contract for Thursday gained 4.73 percent to 38.75 euros/MWh. The year-ahead position was untraded from Tuesday close of 29.80 euros/MWh.($1 = 0.9326 euros) (Reporting by Bate Felix; editing by Alexander Smith)