NORDIC POWER-Forwards slip on rainy outlook, coal
* Spot price for Thursday seen up to 27 euros/MWh * Front-quarter trades below marginal cost of coal power OSLO, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Nordic power futures slipped on Wednesday morning on expectations of continued wet weather as well as to falling costs of coal power production, traders said. The benchmark front-quarter contract for baseload (24 hours) delivery fell by 20 cents to 37.05 euros ($46.54) per megawatt hour (MWh) by 0900 GMT. "It's reasonable that we should go a bit down, because it is still rather wet, and the marginal costs of coal power production are down about 20 euro cents," a Sweden-based trader said. "We can see the fourth-quarter contract traded as low as 36 euros or 35.5 euros, also because we've got two nuclear reactors back in operation," the trader said. Short-run marginal costs of coal power production in the fourth-quarter are expected to fall to 39 euros a MWh, analysts at Thomson Reuters Point Carbon estimated. Georg Muller, a meteorologist at Point Carbon, said he expected the Atlantic lows to dominate Scandinavian weather during the coming days. "Next week, high pressures will partly extend northwards from the continent, but a stable dry period is not likely," he added. The Nordic region relies on hydroelectricity for over 50 percent of its power generation, so changes in precipitation are an important factor for price setting. At the far end of the curve, the Nordic contract for baseload power delivery next year fell by 25 cents to 38 euros a MWh. Brent crude hovered in a tight range near $114 a barrel on Wednesday on caution ahead of a keenly awaited European Central Bank meeting, while global growth concerns deterred buyers. API2 coal swaps for 2013 fell by 25 cents to $99.75 a tonne. SPOT PRICE The Nordic day-ahead average power price for Thursday delivery is expected to rise by 1 euro to 27 euros a MWh from Wednesday on lower wind output and higher consumption, analysts at Thomson Reuters Point Carbon said. Combined wind output in Denmark and Sweden is expected to fall to an hourly average of 2,180 MW, down by 1,600 MW, while consumption is seen up by 710 MW to 39,100 MW on lower temperatures. On the bearish side, Sweden's 984 MW Forsmark-1 nuclear power plant is expected to ramp up output to 850 MW by Thursday. Another Swedish reactor, the 1,400 MW Okskarshamn-3, was back in operation on Tuesday but was expected to have a few short stops due to planned testing later in September. ($1 = 0.7961 euros) (Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis; editing by Jane Baird)
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