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Wholesale energy prices update 18/8/17

Last week brought more price rises. Oil continued trading in a cycle, waiting for news. Another large drop in US storage levels barely registered on price graphs as traders preferred to wait and see if the falls are seasonal adjustments coinciding with a time of peak petrol demand and rising production in the US and OPEC countries. Price charts did spike on Friday when US President Donald Trump announced that Steve Bannon had been relieved of his role as White House Chief Strategist – raising hope of a more stable governance in the US. Brent closed the week up at $52.10 a barrel. In the UK, overall wholesale energy prices continued to march upwards. Problems with Norwegian supply continued to affect the flow of gas into the UK as the system again bounced between long and short and power station demand was up earlier in the week because of colder weather and lower wind output. Good news came later in the week as French nuclear power station inspections showed no reduction in capacity and renewable output increased. All contracts increased in price, with shorter term contracts seeing the biggest rises. Warmer weather is forecasted for the rest of August so it is unlikely that sustained lower prices will be seen in what remains of this summer. Uncertainty still hangs over the winter with unknown supply margins and no Rough storage facility sure to cause some disruption. Short-term opportunities may still present themselves through the remainder of the summer and early autumn, but energy buyers should be aware that prices could rise and may want to monitor markets closely.

Published by Utility Helpline on (modified )