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Wholesale Gas Prices down 46% since winter 2018

Lauren Stewart, wholesale gas prices

29th April : Irish wholesale gas continued to decrease in April 2019, down 9% month-on-month from March according to the latest Naturgy Energy Review and Forecast. The report also shows that wholesale gas prices fell 30% when compared to April 2018.

While electricity prices registered an increase of 3% month-on-month, costs were down 9% when compared to the same period in 2018.

Commenting on the monthly review, Naturgy Energy Analyst, Lauren Stewart, said: “There has been a significant decline in price since October 2018, of 46% on average.”

Ms Stewart added: “The impact of Brexit will continue to loom over the new SEM, and questions continue to surround trade in the case of a no deal Brexit. However, the SEM Committee has advised market participants that SEM would continue to trade as normal in the case of a no deal Brexit, but maybe less efficient.”

Gas Market Overview (wholesale gas prices)

April continued to track similar losses to previous months with prompt prices down 9% month on month averaging at 35.7 p/therm. Gas prices saw a significant amount of volatility this month as the prompt was highly reactive to market fundamentals.

NBP prices broke above the 40 p/therm threshold mid month due to cooler temperatures and an unplanned outage at the Aasta Hansteen platform limiting flows to just 23 mcm/day. This bull run was short lived as other market fundamentals capped gains and we saw downside for the remainder month.

Electricity and Wind Energy Update

April has seen gains to electricity prices due to the intermittency of wind generation on the system, with renewables accounting for 30% of the fuel mix, wind generation to the system has averaged 1,332 MW down 12% from the previous month. Electricity prices averaged at 5.08 c/kWh, up 3% from the previous month, but down 9% from the previous year. Prices softened in the latter end of April due to below seasonal demand, and spikes in wind output at various stages in the month and continued losses to gas prices.