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Weekly Wholesale Energy Market Update - UK Energy & Oil Markets - 31/07/2023

Your Weekly Guide to UK Energy Markets


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. As an energy brokerage company, we understand the importance of staying informed about the changing trends in the energy market. That's why we provide these weekly market reports, to help businesses like yours make informed decisions when negotiating your next energy contract.

 

Weekly Wholesale Energy Market Report: Gas & Power Markets


The gas and power market from the 24th to 31st July 2023 followed a general trend of decreasing prices, as observed in the consistent decline in rates across the week.


The week kicked off with relatively high prices, with the gas and electricity markets standing at 75.50 pence per therm (p/th) and £80.50 per megawatt-hour (MWh) respectively on the 24th. Nonetheless, these prices didn't hold steady as the week unfolded and showed a series of reductions. By the 25th, gas prices had even risen to reach a peak for the week at 78.85 p/th, alongside a similar trend in electricity prices, peaking at £83.50/MWh.


This high point was followed by a substantial fall on the 26th with gas prices reducing to 72.50 p/th and electricity prices slightly increasing to reach £84.00/MWh. This was the highest point for the electricity market for the week. The 27th observed a minor increase in gas prices to 68.85 p/th, whereas electricity prices suffered a considerable reduction to £80.75/MWh.


As the week drew to a close, the trend of decreasing prices solidified with both gas and electricity prices continuing to fall. Gas prices dropped further to 62.50 p/th on the 28th, with electricity prices following suit and dropping slightly to £71.40/MWh. By the 31st, a small recovery was seen with gas prices standing at 65.00 p/th and electricity at £71.60/MWh.


Key points to note from this week's activity include:

  1. The decreasing trend: There was a general fall in prices throughout the week for both the gas and electricity markets.

  2. Mid-week highs: Despite the overall downward trend, both markets experienced their highest prices mid-week (gas on the 25th and electricity on the 26th).

  3. End of week recovery: A slight recovery was observed at the end of the week, with both gas and electricity prices bouncing back a little on the 31st.


Graph of the Last Week's Movements:


Let's take a visual look at the past week's gas and power market movements

Weekly wholesale market movements
snapshot of market movements

Forecast


Looking ahead into the next week, the sector could see continued fluctuations in prices depending on weather patterns, maintenance schedules, and changes in supply-demand dynamics. Further into the future, the trend will likely depend on larger economic trends, geopolitical factors, and the global energy transition.

 

Table of the Movements on Each Day in the Last Week:


Here's a detailed breakdown of the daily changes in gas and electric prices over the past week:

DAY AHEAD PRICES

Gas (pence per therm)

Electric (£ per MWh)

24/07/2023

75.50

80.50

25/07/2023

78.85

83.50

26/07/2023

72.50

84.00

27/07/2023

68.85

80.75

28/07/2023

62.50

71.40

31/07/2023

65.00

71.60

WEEKLY AVERAGE

67.47

80.21

 

Weekly Wholesale Energy Market Report: Oil Markets


The oil market experienced a generally upward trend from 24th to 31st July 2023, with several contributing factors resulting in fluctuations throughout the week.


On 24th July, oil prices experienced a significant rise, boosted by factors such as anticipated supply shortages, geopolitical tensions, and economic plans from China to stimulate their auto and electronics markets. This resulted in Brent crude futures settling at $81.07 a barrel, and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude reaching $77.07 a barrel.


This upwards momentum continued into the 25th and 26th of July, with prices reaching three-month highs. On the 25th, prices rose in response to tightening supply, increased U.S. gasoline demand, hopes for Chinese stimulus measures, and technical buying. By the 26th, Brent futures had reached $83.64 a barrel, and WTI crude had risen to $79.63 a barrel.


However, on the 27th, prices fell by around 1% due to smaller than expected decreases in U.S. crude inventories and an increase in Federal Reserve interest rates. Despite this slight dip, prices rallied on the 28th, with Brent crude topping $84 a barrel for the first time since April, and WTI crude reaching $80.09 a barrel. This was largely driven by supply tightness following OPEC+ production cuts and renewed optimism around Chinese demand and global growth.


By the 31st of July, prices had risen again, buoyed by healthy demand, supply cuts, and optimistic investor sentiment regarding the end of policy tightening campaigns by central banks. Both oil benchmarks reported gains of nearly 5% for the week, making it the fifth straight week of gains.


Key points to note from this week's activity include:

  1. The general upward trend: Despite some fluctuations, oil prices generally increased throughout the week.

  2. Mid-week dips: Despite the overall upward trend, a slight decrease in prices was observed mid-week, due to factors such as smaller than expected decreases in U.S. crude inventories and Federal Reserve interest rate hikes.

  3. The influence of geopolitical and economic factors: Economic plans from China, geopolitical tensions, OPEC+ production cuts, and policy decisions from central banks played key roles in shaping price movements throughout the week.

Overall, these trends and events underscore the complex interplay of supply, demand, geopolitical factors, and economic policies in shaping the oil market.


Forecast


In the coming week, a few key factors are anticipated to influence the oil markets. Supply constraints, largely influenced by decisions from OPEC and Russia, remain a primary driver for price trends. Any changes in these limitations can directly affect pricing. Geopolitical tensions, especially between Russia and Ukraine, can impact oil prices due to potential disruptions in supply chains.


Moreover, the health of the Chinese economy, considered a significant driver of global oil demand, is essential. The market is optimistic about the Chinese government's measures to stimulate the economy, but changes in policy or economic indicators can have a profound impact on oil prices.


Lastly, market sentiments about the global economic conditions, shifts in U.S. interest rates, and inventory data should be closely watched. Rising U.S. interest rates might lead to an economic slowdown and a decrease in oil demand, while inventory data could provide insights into demand-supply dynamics. Despite the current positive outlook, any adverse changes in these factors could potentially lower oil prices.


 

12-Month Graph to Show the Movements Over the Last Year


Now, let's zoom out and take a look at the long-term trends in the energy market over the past year:


12 month wholesale market movements
 

Stay Updated with Our Weekly Market Reports


By regularly checking our weekly market reports, you can stay updated on the latest trends in UK energy markets, gain insights into potential opportunities for savings, and make informed decisions on your next energy contract renewal.


 

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Are you ready to secure the best energy contract renewal for your business? Get in touch with us today to see what options are available for your next renewals. Click the button below to request your free quote, and discover how our expertise can enhance your business's energy strategy.


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