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Weekly Wholesale Energy Market Update - UK Energy & Oil Markets - 25/03/2024

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Our latest comprehensive analysis for your weekly energy market reports, crafted to illuminate the path for your business's energy decisions in the week of 18th to 25th April 2024.


Weekly Energy Market At A Glance


A week of volatility saw gas and electricity prices swinging in response to an array of supply and demand factors. Here’s a snapshot of where we stand:


  • Electricity prices fluctuated, starting the week at £69.00 per MWh and experiencing a peak before settling at £70.90 per MWh at the week’s open.

  • Gas prices have mirrored this volatility, beginning at 73.50 p/th, rising sharply midweek, and opening today at 73.90 p/th.


Detailed Market Dynamics


This week’s market was largely influenced by supply constraints and a demand forecast that initially appeared bearish but turned bullish due to a drop in wind power generation.


  • Supply Side: Maintenance in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) and Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) and outages, like the FLAGS pipeline power failure, have tightened supply.

  • Demand Side: Weaker temperature forecasts hinted at a drop in demand, yet this was offset by a significant rise in Gas-for-Power demand due to low wind generation.

snapshot of wholesale market movements compared to last week, month and year
 

Gas and Power: A Closer Look


  • Gas Prices: Rose to close at 68.75 p/th on 18th due to expected demand increases and were further pushed to 74.5 p/th on 19th amid North Sea supply impacts. A slight respite was seen on 20th with a marginal decline, but this was short-lived as prices climbed back up, reflecting the complexity of the supply-demand interplay.

  • Electricity Prices: Showed a similar trend with the influence of maintenance at nuclear plants and fluctuating wind power generation.


Weekly Weather Watch and Its Effects

Temperatures have taken a colder turn, suggesting a rise in local consumption for the days ahead. Wind speeds, whilst high now, are predicted to drop by Monday, which will likely enhance Gas-for-Power demand.


Anticipated Movements for the Upcoming Week

The close of last week saw gas trading more bullishly in the UK compared to its European counterparts, influenced by the end of Vesterled pipeline capacity tests and re-routing of flows. The fluctuating temperatures and wind speeds anticipated this week will likely lead to variable Gas-for-Power demand.


Looking Forward: Preparing for the Week Ahead

The energy market remains a complex web of influencing factors. As we step into the new week, staying informed is more crucial than ever. With temperatures expected to stay around the seasonal norm before warming towards the weekend, and with wind speeds set to fluctuate, demand may see corresponding changes.


 

A Deeper Dive: Daily Dynamics

Last week’s daily prices showed a clear upward trend, ending with a weekly average gas price of 72.34 p/th and electricity at 68.73 £/MWh. Keeping track of these daily shifts is essential for planning your energy buying.

DAY AHEAD PRICES

Gas (pence per therm)

Electric (£ per MWh)

18/03/2024

73.50

69.00

19/03/2024

75.20

75.00

20/03/2024

71.50

67.50

21/03/2024

67.45

56.50

22/03/2024

72.50

73.50

25/03/2024

73.90

70.90

WEEKLY AVERAGE

72.34

68.73

This week, energy prices climbed, with gas reaching an average of 72.34 p/th and electricity at 68.73 £/MWh, up from last week's 65.71 p/th and 64.13 £/MWh. Why the jump? A mix of maintenance in the North Sea and unexpected pipeline outages reduced supply, while lower wind power increased the demand for gas-generated electricity. These shifts underline the energy market's sensitivity to changes, stressing the need for keen market awareness.


 

Oil Market Brief

In the oil sector, this week was a testament to the market's sensitivity to global events, fluctuating demand, and strategic supply adjustments. After a brief dip, with Brent crude momentarily falling below $85 a barrel, prices demonstrated resilience, driven by heightened demand from U.S. refiners and constrained supply. Despite fluctuations influenced by concerns over U.S. interest rates and inflation, the market rebounded to close more than 3% higher for the week, showcasing a bullish stance amidst ongoing geopolitical tensions and supply chain challenges.


In-Depth Analysis

The week kicked off on a cautious note as worries over economic performance and output reductions in major producing countries dampened spirits. Prices, however, quickly recovered, hitting a four-month high by Monday, fueled by declining exports from Iraq and Saudi Arabia and optimistic demand and growth signs from China and the U.S. The geopolitical landscape further complicated supply scenarios, with Ukraine's intensified attacks on Russian oil infrastructure adding to supply anxieties.


Midweek, the oil market responded to the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision to maintain interest rates, reflecting ongoing demand concerns. Yet, the narrative shifted once again towards week's end, with discussions of a ceasefire in Gaza initially causing prices to slip, counterbalanced by the conflict in Ukraine and a dip in the U.S. rig count stabilizing the market.


The fluctuating prices across the week underscore the complex interplay of geopolitical developments, supply dynamics, and economic indicators shaping the oil market. Despite the week's end uncertainty, the resilience in oil prices signals a cautious optimism, hinging on the delicate balance between supply constraints and the global economic outlook.

 

Your Energy Guide

Our Weekly Wholesale Market Update gives a side-by-side comparison of the gas and electric market increases. For a wider view, the 12-month report sheds light on the bigger picture.


graph to show last 12 months wholesale market movements

For day-to-day updates and detailed analysis, turn to our Daily Energy Market Reports. They are a valuable resource for understanding the market.


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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