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Markets

UK GAS-Soaring LNG markets pull prices to near two-year highs

  • The within-day contract was 1.4 pence higher at 47 p/therm at 1013 GMT, up around 15pc in the last week and its highest since February 2019.
Published December 15, 2020

British wholesale gas prices rose to their highest in nearly two years on Tuesday, pulled up by rallies in liquefied natural gas (LNG) and emissions markets.

The within-day contract was 1.4 pence higher at 47 p/therm at 1013 GMT, up around 15pc in the last week and its highest since February 2019.

The day-ahead contract was 0.5 pence higher at 47 p/therm.

The UK gas system was slightly over-supplied. Temperatures above the seasonal average reduced gas demand for heating while high windpower generation would curb gas-demand for power.

"The recent bull run ... has been driven more by LNG concerns and curve upside," said Refinitiv analyst Wayne Bryan.

Asian spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices reached their highest since Sept. 2018 last week, forcing higher prices in Europe to attract shipments.

The contract for NBP January gas deliveries gained 0.85 pence to 49.10 p/therm.

The Dutch TTF January contract was up 0.45 euros at 16.90 euros per megawatt hour after earlier hitting its highest since April 2019 of 17.33 euros per megawatt hour.

The new benchmark Dec-21 EU carbon contract was up 0.88 euro at 31.89 euros per tonne after touching a record high of 32.14 euros per tonne.

The UK gas system was over-supplied by 1.4 million cubic metres (mcm), with demand forecast at 276.5 mcm, around 31 mcm below the seasonal norm, National Grid data showed.

Warmer than usual temperatures are forecast through most of December, according to Refinitiv data.

Peak wind generation is forecast at 8.6 gigawatts (GW) on Tuesday rising to 14.3 GW on Wednesday, out of total metered capacity of around 18 GW, Elexon data shows.

That should reduce UK gas for power consumption from around 51 mcm on Tuesday to 40 mcm on Wednesday, said Refinitiv's Bryan.

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