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Weekly Wholesale Energy Market Update - UK Energy & Oil Markets - 20/05/2024

Welcome to our 'Weekly Energy Market' update, where we dissect the latest trends and changes from 13th May to 20th May 2024. Your guide through the fluctuations of the last week: revealing trends, insights, and forecasts in the UK energy and oil markets.

image to show how much the energy market has moved in the last week

Weekly Energy Market At A Glance


Gas Market Overview


The gas market experienced notable fluctuations throughout the week. Here's a summary of the key movements and factors influencing the market:


  • Monday, 13th May: Gas prices started the week at 69.0p/th, driven down by lower demand and upcoming Norwegian maintenance, which suggested increased gas flows to the UK.

  • Tuesday, 14th May: Prices dropped slightly to 68.6p/th, with lower local demand due to warmer weather, but an expected increase in gas-for-power demand due to reduced wind speeds.

  • Wednesday, 15th May: Prices rose to 70.5p/th, influenced by a new maintenance schedule in Norway and potential geopolitical tensions involving Ukraine.

  • Thursday, 16th May: A further increase to 71.45p/th was seen, with market nervousness about upcoming Norwegian maintenance impacting supply.

  • Friday, 17th May: Prices jumped to 73.4p/th, partly due to additional Norwegian maintenance and a brief unplanned shutdown at South Hook.

  • Monday, 20th May: The new week started with prices at 74.0p/th, with the market reacting to a slight rise in Dutch TTF prices and an expected decrease in wind speeds, increasing gas-for-power demand.


Electricity Market Overview


Electricity prices mirrored some of the trends in the gas market, influenced by similar factors:


  • 13th May: £63.50/MWh

  • 14th May: £70.50/MWh

  • 15th May: £72.50/MWh

  • 16th May: £73.50/MWh

  • 17th May: £72.50/MWh

  • 20th May: £72.50/MWh


Weekly Summary and Insights


The 7-day average prices were 72.26 p/th for gas and 70.83 £/MWh for electricity. The market remained relatively volatile with notable rises mid-week due to maintenance activities and geopolitical concerns.



 

Anomalies and Key Drivers:


  • Norwegian Maintenance: Several planned and unplanned maintenance activities in Norway significantly influenced supply expectations and drove price volatility.

  • Weather Patterns: Above-average temperatures and fluctuations in wind speeds impacted both gas and electricity demand, particularly for gas-for-power generation.

  • Geopolitical Tensions: Reports of military movements near Ukraine affected market sentiment, adding a layer of uncertainty.

 

Looking Forward: Market Forecast


Looking ahead, the market is expected to stay relatively stable with potential for price changes as Norwegian maintenance concludes and LNG sendouts recover. Warmer weather is likely to persist, reducing local gas demand but potentially increasing gas-for-power needs if wind speeds remain low.


graph to show last 12 months wholesale market movements

This image shows the market movements over the last 12 months, providing a broader context for the recent price changes. It highlights the seasonal volatility and the impact of external factors such as maintenance schedules and geopolitical events.


Conclusion

This week’s energy market has been marked by fluctuations primarily driven by supply concerns and maintenance schedules in Norway, combined with variable demand influenced by weather patterns. While the overall outlook remains relatively stable, factors such as the expected LNG recovery and changes in continental supply dynamics will play crucial roles in shaping the market in the coming weeks.

 

Oil Market Overview


This past week has seen notable fluctuations in oil prices, influenced by ongoing geopolitical tensions and economic indicators. Here’s a detailed look at the developments:


Oil Market at a Glance:


  • Start of the Week: Oil prices fell by nearly $1/barrel on Friday as U.S. central bank officials indicated higher-for-longer interest rates, which could hinder demand from the world’s largest crude consumers. Brent crude futures settled at $82.79/barrel, down $1.09, or 1.3%, while WTI crude settled at $78.26/barrel, down $1.00, or 1.3%.

  • Midweek Movements: Oil prices saw a mix of declines and recoveries:

  • 14th May: Prices rose as signs of improving demand in the U.S. and China emerged. Brent crude rose to $83.36/barrel, and WTI to $79.12/barrel.

  • 15th May: Prices settled lower as concerns about U.S. interest rates persisted. Brent fell to $82.38/barrel, and WTI to $78.02/barrel.

  • 16th May: Prices rose nearly 1% due to positive U.S. economic data and a bigger-than-expected crude drawdown. Brent closed at $82.75/barrel, and WTI at $78.63/barrel.

  • 17th May: Crude prices edged up with stabilising U.S. job market data and hopes for an interest rate cut in autumn. Brent settled at $83.27/barrel, and WTI at $79.23/barrel.

  • End of the Week: Oil prices settled about 1% higher on Friday. Brent recorded its first weekly gain in 3 weeks, settling at $83.98/barrel, while WTI gained to $80.06/barrel, bolstered by positive economic indicators from China and the U.S.


Factors Influencing Oil Prices:


  • Geopolitical Tensions: Concerns about potential supply disruptions, particularly from Mideast tensions and Canadian wildfires, influenced price movements.

  • Economic Indicators: U.S. inflation data and interest rate expectations played a crucial role in shaping market sentiments. Positive economic data from China, including industrial output growth and steps to stabilise its property sector, also supported prices.


 

Advice for Your Business

For advice that fits with the latest market situation, get in touch for a free business energy quote. Our team at the Smart Energy Company is ready to help you make informed choices, tailored to the market’s current state.

 

Get Your Free Business Energy Quote Today


Keep visiting our blog for weekly updates. If you have any questions or need more detailed advice, we’re just a call away. We’ll help you navigate through the market changes with ease and confidence.





Or Call us on 0151 459 3388


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