Energy Wholesale Market Review – 17 March 2023


This week saw a more bearish pricing trend, with most tracked wholesale gas and power contracts in GB registering week-on-week price losses. Ongoing milder weather and increased wind power generation have kept near-term prices lower this week, while longer-dated contracts have taken price direction from wider movements in the commodity markets. Day-ahead gas fell 14.4% to 101.00p/th, following strikes at French refineries and LNG terminals. Day-ahead power rose 14.0% to £114.00/MWh, finding support earlier in the week from news of new reactor defects found at several French nuclear sites. Following wider movements in the commodity markets, April 23 gas was down 8.1% at 108.00p/th, and May 23 gas decreased 8.2% to 109.00p/th. All seasonal gas contracts declined last week, down by 4.4% on average. Summer 23 and winter 23 gas dropped 6.9% and 5.6% respectively, to 111.75p/th and 135.00p/th. All seasonal power contracts also reported losses this week, down on average by 6.7%, as summer 23 power traded 7.6% lower at £121.00/MWh, while winter 23 fell 7.5% to £147.00/MWh.

Baseload electricity

Forward curve comparison

  • Day-ahead power rose 14.0% to £114.00/MWh, despite forecasts of increased wind power generation next week
  • April 23 power dropped 9.4% to £113.00/MWh and May 23 power decreased 8.4% to £114.00/MWh

Annual October contract

  • Q223 power moved 8.6% lower to £117.00/MWh
  • The annual April 23 contract saw a decrease of 7.6% to £134.00/MWh, 1.5% lower than the same time last year (£135.50/MWh)

Peak electricity

Forward curve comparison

  • Day-ahead peak power was down 2.5% to £120.25/MWh, following baseload power lower
  • April 23 peak power declined 4.3% at £126.00/MWh, and May 23 peak power decreased 0.2% to £126.00/MWh

Annual April contract

  • The annual April 23 peak power rose 4.3% to £156.9/MWh
  • This is 5.4% lower than the same time last year (165.9/MWh)

Seasonal power prices

Seasonal baseload power contracts

  • All seasonal power contracts dropped this week, down on average by 6.7%
  • Summer 23 and winter 23 lowered 7.6% and 7.5% respectively, dropping to £121.00/MWh and £147.00/MWh

Seasonal baseload power curve

  • All seasonal peak power contracts declined this week, down 4.3% on average
  • Summer 23 gas dropped 4.6% to £132.60/MWh, and similarly winter 23 peak power decreased 4.1% to £181.30/MWh

Commodity price movements

Oil and coal

  • Brent crude oil fell 8% on the previous week to average $76.97/bl
  • Brent crude saw notable bearish movements during the past seven days, as fresh fears surrounding a new global financial crisis arose after the collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank
  • Prices somewhat steadied into the week, following reports of Saudi Arabia and Russia meeting to discuss the OPEC+ group’s efforts to maintain market balance, alongside a broader recovery in financial markets

Carbon (UK and EU ETS)

  • Both EU and UK ETS schemes saw their average price this week fall, with a 5.0% decrease to EU ETS carbon (€91.92/t), and UK ETS carbon seeing a 4.5% decline (£78.24/t)
  • After provisionally agreeing on a set of reforms for the EU ETS schemes as part of the Fit for 55 package, on March 14, the European Parliament formally approved these reforms. The Market Stability Reserve of the EU ETS has been extended to 2030 – in order to avoid falling CO2 prices in response to external shocks

Wholesale price snapshot – Friday-on Friday

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