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Weekly Wholesale Energy Market Report 17/07/2023: Insights on UK Energy Markets

Your Weekly Wholesale Energy Market Report - 17/07/2023


weekly wholesale energy movements

Welcome to The Smart Energy Company's Weekly Wholesale Energy Market Report , your go-to source for the latest insights and updates on UK energy markets.


We understand that keeping up with the changing trends in the energy market can be a daunting task for businesses, which is why we provide weekly market reports to help you stay informed. Our team of experts provides analysis on the latest updates on the energy market, including changes in supply and demand, natural gas prices, and renewable energy availability.


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Snapshot of market movements


snapshot of market movements

Gas & Power Markets - Weekly Energy Report


Overview for the week: The week was characterised by bearish trends in the gas and power markets, with prices generally declining as a result of strong supply fundamentals. Key drivers included the return of Norwegian gas facilities after their maintenance periods and robust storage levels, which both helped to ensure the supply of gas to Europe and the UK.


At the beginning of the week, wholesale energy markets saw slight growth despite the restarting of Norwegian facilities. Some of this was likely due to technical buying and fears of potential delays to the maintenance outages. However, good renewable availability and moderate weather have kept prices in check, with near-term NBP contracts growing by 3.2%, and power in the UK seeing slightly lower gains.


From midweek onwards, prices fell, with wholesale gas markets seeing reductions due to increased supply from Norway and the breaking of 80% gas storage capacity. The benchmark European TTF front-month contract and the analogous NBP contract saw significant falls of 9.71% and 10.2% respectively.


Prices continued to drop, hitting a four-week low on 12/07/2023. This was due to improved Norwegian supply and continuous filling of storage, creating further downward pressure. This trend continued over the next two days, with additional downward pressure from the return of more Norwegian facilities.


Towards the end of the week, results were mixed. Anticipation of Norwegian facilities coming back online and growing storage stocks eased concerns of a tight market later in the year. However, uncertainty surrounding the return of some Norwegian facilities caused longer-term contracts to appreciate slightly as traders hedged against potential future outages.


Conclusion: The general decline in prices over the week indicates a well-supplied market, thanks to the return of Norwegian facilities from maintenance and strong storage levels. The uptick in prices at the end of the week, due to uncertainty over some Norwegian facilities, highlights the sensitivity of the market to potential supply disruptions.


Forecast


Going into the new week, market participants should monitor the return of Norwegian facilities closely as any further outages could put upward pressure on prices. Furthermore, traders will be watching storage levels, as further increases could exert more downward pressure on prices. The power market will likely be influenced by changes in gas prices, given the close linkage between the two, so any major movements in gas could also impact power contracts. Lastly, it would be prudent to keep an eye on weather forecasts and renewable output, as these could impact demand and subsequently influence prices.


Oil Markets - Weekly Energy Report


Overview for the week: The week in oil markets was marked by a significant bullish trend, with Brent crude futures reaching a near three-month peak. There were several drivers, including supply fears, technical trading, production cuts from top oil exporters, and a falling US dollar that outweighed concerns over weak economic growth and muted demand.


At the start of the week, Brent crude futures rose around 3%, reaching a nine-week high. This upward trend was due to supply fears and technical trading, despite bearish influences of weak economic growth and muted demand.


On the following day, the price dipped slightly due to the increased probability of more interest rate hikes which unsettled the market. However, losses were mitigated by production cuts from top oil exporters Saudi Arabia and Russia.


Midweek, Brent crude futures continued to rally, increasing by 2% and reaching a 10-week high. This rise was due to a falling US dollar, supply cuts, and expectations of higher demand in developing countries. Analysts expected this rally to carry the commodity over the $80 threshold.


Towards the end of the week, the Brent crude futures continued their upward trend, breaching the $80 mark for the first time since May. This was due to decelerating US inflation which gave hope to investors that the Federal Reserve might limit its number of interest rate hikes. This was further reinforced by forecasts of strong demand from China and developing countries in the second half of 2023.


Finally, oil prices dipped slightly due to profit-taking but still managed to close 1.8% up on Friday. This was due to concerns about a rebounding dollar and an increase in demand.


Conclusion: The overall bullish trend in the oil market for the week indicates strong investor confidence, driven by supply fears, production cuts, a weak dollar, and anticipated demand. However, the slight dip at the end of the week suggests that investors are wary of potential changes in the market dynamics.


Forecast


Moving into the new week, market participants should watch for the impact of the US refilling its strategic reserves and any potential further production cuts from Russia. Further disruptions to oil fields in Libya and Nigeria could also support prices. Investors will also have to keep an eye on the US dollar and its influence on the market, as well as any changes in demand due to economic growth or potential interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.


 

Jargon Buster

  • Bearish - In relation to energy markets, bearish means that there is an expectation of a decrease in the demand for energy products, or an increase in the supply of energy products, which would result in a decrease in the price of energy products. This could be due to a variety of factors such as a slower economic growth, overproduction of oil and gas, or the emergence of alternative sources of energy. A bearish outlook for energy markets suggests that companies operating in the industry may struggle to maintain profits and may be forced to cut costs or reduce production.


  • Bullish - In relation to energy markets, bullish means that there is an expectation of an increase in demand for energy products, or a decrease in the supply of energy products, which would result in an increase in the price of energy products. This could be due to various reasons such as a growing global economy, production cuts by major oil-producing countries, geopolitical tensions that impact the supply, or a shift towards renewable energy sources. A bullish outlook for energy markets suggests that companies operating in the industry may see increased profits and may be able to invest in new projects to meet the growing demand for energy products.

How the market has opened each day:

DAY AHEAD PRICES

Gas (pence per therm)

Electric (£ per MWh)

10/07/2023

73.88

86.75

11/07/2023

70.98

78.50

12/07/2023

65.45

83.50

13/07/2023

62.50

73.00

14/07/2023

61.25

79.50

17/07/2023

59.95

88.25


7 day averages


Gas (pence per therm) 65.67

Electric (£ per MWh) 81.58


 

Last 12 months wholesale market movements


12 month wholesale market movements

 


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