Weekly market update - Recent cool temperatures increase pressure as the UK moves into heating load territory

Head of Sales Trading, Fanos Shiamishis, reports on energy market activity, covering the period 18th April – 25th April 2023. On our end-of-day pricing tool, The Source, we published an in-week high of £157.75/MWh for the Winter-23 seasonal power price on 18th April. In this blog, Fanos shares the market news and updates from the last week.    

Early last week, both UK power and gas markets followed a sideways trend as supply balanced out demand. Prices were expected to increase due to cooler weather forecasts but were offset by strong LNG deliveries. Meanwhile, cancelled maintenance at Norwegian gas fields added further downward pressure. 

On Wednesday, NBP front month contracts hit a new low below 95ppth. However, European gas remained stable with a comfortable supply outlook counteracting the effects of reduced pipeline flows from Norway amid a number of unplanned outages.  

The UK power curve also saw little action, softening on the back of falling gas and carbon markets, and a similar trend continued throughout the week as Norwegian flows and consumption forecasts remained largely unchanged.  

As we reached the end of the week, near-term gas prices edged higher as the temperature outlooks got colder, increasing demand forecasts as the UK entered heating load territory. However, this week, good wind and solar output counteracted the impact of cooler temperatures, and as we look to the week ahead, milder temperatures are expected, abating any worries of increased gas consumption.