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Markets

UK GAS-Gas prices fall as lockdowns curb industrial demand

  • Overall, the UK gas system was under-supplied by 10 mcm on Thursday, with demand forecast at around 263 mcm, and supply at almost 253 mcm, National Grid data showed.
17 Dec, 2020

British wholesale gas prices fell on Thursday, dragged by renewed coronavirus restrictions across the region and expectations of lower demand during the Christmas holidays.

The day-ahead contract was down 1.25 pence at 44.00 p/therm by 0953 GMT.

Gas for immediate delivery was down 0.45 pence at 44.75 p/therm.

"COVID-19 restrictions post bearish risk on industrial demand on top of higher renewables and nuclear availability," Refinitiv's analysts said.

A trader also highlighted the impact of profit-taking after the recent gas market rally.

Noticeable warmer but windy weather also reduced the call on gas in power plants. Peak wind generation is forecast at 13.4 GW on Thursday, and 14.8 GW on Friday, out of a total metered capacity of around 18 GW, Elexon data shows.

Some upside risk stemmed from lower send-out of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and from Norwegian gas flows to Britain, which were down by 11 million cubic metres (mcm) day-on-day at 104 mcm/day, Refinitiv said.

High demand for LNG in Asia drew away a significant share of LNG from Europe, analysts at Marex Spectron said, creating a tightness in European markets.

Overall, the UK gas system was under-supplied by 10 mcm on Thursday, with demand forecast at around 263 mcm, and supply at almost 253 mcm, National Grid data showed.

Meanwhile, a French energy sector strike appeared to have little impact on the market.

The UK contract for January gas deliveries shed 0.91 pence to 46.50 p/therm.

The Dutch TTF January contract was also down 0.12 euro at 16.15 euros per megawatt-hour.

The benchmark Dec-21 EU carbon contract was up 0.22 euros at 32.00 euros per tonne.

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