Energy Wholesale Market Review – 17 April 2023


This week represented a relatively mixed picture for wholesale gas and power contracts. Primarily, we observed losses on shorter-dated contracts whereas prices further out on the forward curve recorded gains – a possible response to on-going concerns over future supply as a potential rebound in rival Asian markets disrupting LNG supplies – coupled with the possibility of higher fuel usage in power generation and the industrial sector as full COVID recovery occurs. Day-ahead gas fell 3.8% to 100.00p/th amid ample supply and lower demand. However, day-ahead power rose 7.0% to £107.00/MWh, with periods of lower wind outturn seen during the week, slightly tightening system margins. May 23 gas eased 5.2% to 100.52p/th, and June 23 gas decreased 5.7% to 102.50p/th. All seasonal gas contracts boosted last week, up by 2.1% on average, while both winter 23 and summer 24 gas increased 1.2% and 1.7% respectively, lifting to 147.00p/th and 138.25p/th. Elsewhere, most seasonal power contracts declined this week, seeing a marginal drop of 0.9%, as winter 23 power decreased 1.3% to £158.00/MWh, while summer 24 expanded 1.6% to £126.00/MWh.

Baseload electricity

Forward curve comparison

  • Day-ahead power rose 7.0 % to £107.00/MWh, despite forecasts showing higher temperatures and level wind power generation next week.
  • Conversely, May 23 power fell 5.0% to £104.50/MWh and June 23 power followed this trend and dropped 5.2% to £110.0/MWh.

Annual October contract

  • Q223 power moved 4.5% lower to £115.50/MWh
  • The annual October 23 contract remained stable at £142.00/MWh, 4.4% lower than the same time last year (£148.50/MWh).

Peak electricity

Forward curve comparison

  • Day-ahead peak power rose 8.9% to £106.75/MWh, following its baseload power counterpart higher.
  • May 23 peak power fell 1.3% at £111.25/MWh, with June 23 peak power matching this downwards movement, seeing a loss of 1.6%, down to 124.25/MWh.

Annual April contract

  • The annual October 23 peak power saw marginal growth of 0.4% to £170.25/MWh.
  • This is 22.3% lower than the same time last year (219.0/MWh).

Seasonal power prices

Seasonal baseload power contracts

  • Most seasonal power contracts fell this week, down on average by 0.9%.
  • Winter 23 power decreased 1.3% to £158.00/MWh, while summer 24 power rose 1.6% £126.00/MWh.

Seasonal baseload power curve

  • Most seasonal peak power contracts rose this week, seeing marginal growth of 0.3% on average.
  • Winter 23 gas increased 0.9% to £201.75/MWh, whereas summer 24 peak power fell 0.2% to £138.75/MWh.

Commodity price movements

Oil and coal

  • Brent crude experienced a bullish week, with an increase of 3.0% being recorded after members of the OPEC+ group cut their output by more than one million barrels a day – in a move to keep the price above $80 a barrel. This upwards movement was compounded by lower-than-expected US inflation data raising hopes that interest-rate hikes will soften, and the weakening of the US dollar – making purchasing dollar-priced oil cheaper for those holding different currencies.
  • Gains were somewhat capped by the prospect of a recession in the US looming overhead, acting to impact demand levels.

Carbon (UK and EU ETS)

  • The EU ETS scheme saw a slight bullish adjustment, rising 1.2% to €95.62/t. On the contrary, the UK ETS carbon prices saw a more notable change, decreasing 4.2% to £72.33/t – despite a decrease to wind generation in tandem with lower temperatures.
  • EU ETS prices will remain elevated as demand for EU Allowance (EUA) contracts continues to rise as the deadline of 30 April for the 2023 contract settlement approaches.

Wholesale price snapshot – Friday-on Friday

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