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Monthly Energy Market Updates: Review of Gas & Power Markets

Monthly Energy Market Update - 01/07/2023 - 01/08/2023


Introduction: Welcome to our Monthly Energy Market Update for July 2023. In this comprehensive review, we delve into the intricacies of the Gas & Power markets, focusing on the fluctuations and volatility observed throughout the month. We'll be analysing the factors influencing gas and power prices, including supply disruptions, outages, changes in demand, and the impact of renewables generation. Our aim is to provide you with valuable insights into the overall performance and direction of these markets during the review period. Let's get started.

Monthly market updates

Review of Gas & Power Markets from 01/07/2023 - 01/08/2023


In this post, we provide a review of the Gas & Power markets, focusing on the fluctuations and volatility observed throughout the month of July 2023. We analyse the factors influencing gas and power prices, including supply disruptions, outages, changes in demand, and the impact of renewables generation. By examining the market dynamics, we aim to provide insights into the overall performance and direction of these markets during the review period. So, join us as we delve into the intricacies of the Gas & Power markets in this comprehensive review.


Gas Market Review for July 2023

July saw considerable ups and downs in the UK wholesale gas market, driven largely by shifts in supply and demand. Unanticipated interruptions, particularly at gas facilities in Norway, caused some concern and resulted in price hikes. However, these jumps were tempered as the month progressed, due to factors like robust storage levels and reduced demand, as well as the completion of maintenance work on Norwegian facilities. Investors also factored in elements like the flow of LNG, demand levels, and market adjustments, leading to price fluctuations. Overall, the gas market behaved unpredictably, with prices swinging back and forth, but no definite trend over the month.


Power Market Review for July 2023

The power market behaved similarly to the gas market, reflecting its volatility. The movement in gas prices, changes in renewable energy generation, supply dynamics, and shifts in demand all played a role in shaping the power prices. The power market too, saw price adjustments and swings as investors considered factors like disruptions in supply, changes in renewable output, and carbon allowances. Much like the gas market, the power market did not show a clear trend, with prices responding to immediate factors and supply-demand shifts.


In conclusion, both the gas and power markets experienced volatility and slight course corrections throughout July. Price shifts were influenced by elements like supply disruptions, duration of outages, changes in demand, and the impact of renewable energy generation. While specific incidents caused brief price changes, the overall trajectory of the markets remained unpredictable, with no clear trend surfacing during this period. For future market direction, it will be important to keep an eye on supply levels, demand dynamics, and global developments.

 

Oil Market Trends for July 2023


The oil markets have had an eventful two weeks in July 2023. Overall, it has been marked by fluctuating oil prices due to numerous factors, including China's economic performance, geopolitical tensions, and the activities of OPEC.

  1. China's Economic Performance: The performance of the Chinese economy significantly affected the oil market during this period. China, being the world's second-largest oil consumer, has a significant influence on global demand. For instance, on 18th July, data revealing weaker than expected economic growth in China led to a drop in oil prices. However, an announcement on 19h July that China was planning measures to restore and expand its economy resulted in a rebound.

  2. OPEC's Activities: The OPEC's activities have a considerable impact on global oil supply and thus, prices. The decision by OPEC and its allies to cut production has contributed to the tightening of supply and the consequent increase in prices, as seen on July 25, 26, and 28.

  3. Geopolitical Tensions: Another significant influence on oil prices is geopolitical tensions, which could potentially disrupt supply. For example, escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine contributed to a rise in oil prices on 24th July.

  4. Federal Reserve Actions: The Federal Reserve's interest rate decisions have indirect effects on the oil market. When the Federal Reserve increased interest rates on 27th July, it caused a decrease in oil prices. Higher interest rates can slow economic growth and thus decrease demand for oil.

  5. Global Economic Growth: Expectations about global economic growth can also influence oil prices. For example, on 31st July, optimism that central banks were nearing the end of their policy tightening campaigns led to a more positive outlook for global growth and energy demand, boosting oil prices.

The oil markets closed the month on a high note, with oil prices rallying to a three-month high on 01st August, due to signs of tightening global supply and rising demand in the United States. This marked the steepest monthly gains since January 2022.

 

Snapshot of wholesale market movements


snapshot of wholesale energy prices

Energy Market Averages

DATE

GAS (pence per therm)

ELECTRIC (£ per MWh)

Last 7 Days

69.69

77.00

Last Month

71.54

81.02

Last Year

158.10

165.95

 

Forecast for the Gas & Power Markets


Maintenance and Outages: Along with unexpected disruptions, it is important to be aware of planned maintenance or outages in the upcoming month. These scheduled activities in major gas fields and facilities will significantly impact the level of gas available in the market. In the context of the upcoming outages at the Troll field and Kollsnes gas processing plant, this could lead to a temporary reduction in gas supply.


Impact on Energy Storage Levels: These scheduled outages could also have a direct impact on the levels of gas in storage. As these facilities go offline for maintenance, the amount of gas being fed into storage could decrease. This scenario, coupled with any increase in demand, can lead to a drawdown on the stored gas reserves.


Demand Levels and Price Impact: Typically, during times of lower supply from such outages, if demand remains steady or increases, it often leads to an upward pressure on prices as the market balances the lower supply with the existing demand. Therefore, it's reasonable to anticipate potential increases in gas and power prices due to these planned outages and their effect on storage and demand levels.


As a result, market participants should closely monitor these scheduled maintenance activities and their potential impacts on supply, demand, and storage levels to better anticipate and navigate possible price fluctuations in the coming month.


Last 12 month market movements


12 month wholesale market movements

Conclusion

In conclusion, July 2023 was a month of considerable volatility in the gas, power, and oil markets. Influenced by a variety of factors, from supply disruptions and changes in demand to geopolitical developments and economic performance, the markets experienced significant fluctuations. As we look ahead, it's clear that monitoring these factors will be crucial for understanding market dynamics and anticipating price movements. Stay tuned for our next monthly energy market update where we'll continue to provide you with the latest insights and trends

 

Understanding the energy market can be complex, but it's crucial for making informed decisions about your energy needs. That's where we come in. At The Smart Energy Company, we're committed to helping you navigate the energy market with ease. Whether you're looking to renew your energy contract or switch providers, we're here to help.


Don't miss out on potential savings and better energy deals. Get in touch with us today at 0151 459 3388 for your free energy quote. Let us help you power your future



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