Energy Wholesale Market Review – 31 March 2023


It was a collectively bullish week across most tracked gas and power contracts this week. In support of this, day-ahead gas rose 10.3% to 112.50p/th, following higher gas demand ahead of expected colder temperatures and lower wind output at the beginning of next week. Day-ahead power, however, fell 5.3% to £111.75/MWh, despite the anticipated decrease to wind outturn early next week. April 23 gas was up 8.7% at 112.00p/th, and May 23 gas increased 8.8% to 114.00p/th. All seasonal gas contracts boosted this week, up by 9.1% on average, while both summer 23 and winter 23 gas increased 9.7% and 14.2% respectively, lifting to 117.00p/th and 151.00p/th. Similarly, all seasonal power contracts saw gains this week, up on average by 7.3%, as summer 23 and winter 23 expanded 8.3% and 10.7% respectively, rising to £124.50/MWh and £161.00/MWh. Brent crude experienced a bullish week following a decline in US crude inventory levels and an emerging export halt from the Kurdistan region.

Baseload electricity

Forward curve comparison

  • Day-ahead power fell 5.3% to £111.75/MWh, despite forecasts showing lower temperatures and a drop in wind power generation next week.
  • Conversely, April 23 power rose 5.0% to £114.50/MWh and May 23 power grew 3.2% to £114.50/MWh.

Annual October contract

  • Q223 power moved 4.0% higher to £116.50/MWh
  • The annual April 23 contract rose 9.6% to £142.75/MWh, 0.9% higher than the same time last year (£141.50/MWh).

Peak electricity

Forward curve comparison

  • Day-ahead peak power was down 6.1% to £120.25/MWh, opposing the baseload power increase
  • April 23 peak power grew 1.3% at £119.50/MWh, and May 23 peak power remained stable at £120.00/MWh.

Annual April contract

  • The annual April 23 peak power rose 6.7% to £164.25/MWh.
  • This is 0.5% higher than the same time last year (163.50/MWh).

Seasonal power prices

Seasonal baseload power contracts

  • All seasonal power contracts boosted this week, up on average by 7.3%
  • Summer 23 and winter 23 expanded 8.3% and 10.7% respectively, rising to £124.50/MWh and £161.00/MWh

Seasonal baseload power curve

  • Most seasonal peak power contracts rose this week, up 5.9% on average
  • Summer 23 gas increased 0.4% to £131.50/MWh, and similarly winter 23 peak power grew 11..4% to £197.00/MWh

Commodity price movements

Oil and coal

  • Brent crude experienced a bullish week, seeing an increase of 5.3% after the previous bearish trend seen following the termination of pipeline flows from Kurdistan to Turkey, with Iraqi consent needed for flows to resume. This, coupled with an optimistic view on increased Chinese demand, has acted to push this bullish sentiment
  • This upwards price trend was further supported by easing fears over the potential economic impact following the breakdown of Silicon Valley Bank, coupled with a sudden drop to US crude oil stockpile levels

Carbon (UK and EU ETS)

  • Breaking away from last week’s bearish trend seen across EU ETS prices, the scheme saw a 1.2% increase – rising to €90.08/t. However, UK ETS prices continued their downward price trend with a marginal 0.2% drop to £73.14/t
  • The government published a consultation on Thursday 30 March seeking views on a range of potential policy measures to mitigate future carbon leakage risk. This includes a carbon border adjustment mechanism, mandatory product standards, and other policy measures to help grow the market for low carbon products.

Wholesale price snapshot – Friday-on Friday

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