March 25, 2020 / 10:34 AM / 10 days ago

EUROPE POWER-Prompt down on bearish supply/demand, curve recovers more

FRANKFURT, March 25 (Reuters) - Spot electricity prices for the day-ahead fell on Wednesday in the European wholesale market on bearish fundamentals, but forward prices gained for the second day after a slump on Monday that was triggered by the coronavirus crisis.

* German day-ahead baseload was down 1.8% to 21.8 euros ($23.62) a megawatt hour (MWh), while the equivalent French price was level at 21.5 euros at 1020 GMT.

* German wind power output will likely rise by 1 gigawatt (GW) on the day to 17 GW on Thursday, Eikon Refinitiv data showed.

* In the French nuclear sector, utility EDF reported the Gravelines 5 reactor will be offline during peak load hours on Friday, and Cattenom 1 will add three days to its current outage to reopen on Sunday.

* Demand projections were down, with Germany’s seen easing by 400 MW on the day to 68.7 GW on Friday and those in France by 300 MW to 52.5 GW, the data showed. That would be a sharp decline from levels seen early in the week in France.

* Curve prices reclaimed lost territory as oil-led fuel markets rebounded on more optimism for the global economy and demand due to U.S. stimulus measures.

* Germany’s Cal ‘21 baseload, Europe’s futures benchmark, gained 1.7% to 35.5 euros/MWh.

* The French year-ahead baseload stood 1.7% higher at 39.6 euros.

* December 2020 expiry European CO2 allowances were 1.9% up at 17.1 euros a tonne.

* Hard coal for northern European delivery in 2021 was 2.3% higher at $58.5 a tonne, with economic activity starting to pick up in key consumer country China.

* In eastern Europe, the Czech Thursday baseload was untraded after the previous close at 25.5 euros. Year-ahead power was untraded after a settlement at 39.5 euros.

* Retail energy portal Verivox said German distribution companies were able to buy at 11% lower prices from wholesalers for the year 2021, owing to the price losses in the virus crisis.

* However, it remained to be seen if this would make much of a difference to customers’ bills. Only 22% of final prices are output-related.

* Rating agency S&P said it expected European power demand to decline by 5%-7% year-on-year in 2020, and power prices to be down 20% in 2021 from its previous assumptions.

* E.ON in its earnings presentations also noted lower energy prices. But its remaining nuclear assets have sold ahead generation volumes at above the market. ($1 = 0.9229 euros) (Reporting by Vera Eckert; Editing by Mark Potter)

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