CEE POWER-Spot gains on post-holiday demand but warm weather caps gains

Mon Jan 6, 2014 10:40am EST

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* Warm temperatures expected to linger through week

* Hungary day ahead at nearly 29 euro premium

* Wind generation expected to be strong

PRAGUE, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Central European day ahead power gained on Monday as demand returned following the New Year's holiday but unseasonably warm temperatures kept a lid on prices, traders said.

On regional exchanges, Czech and Slovak electricity for Tuesday delivery jumped nearly 13 percent to 31.19 euros ($42.46) per megawatt hour. Day ahead on Hungary's HUPX exchange rose 35 percent to 60.07 euros due to tight supplies.

"It's the same story in Hungary," one trader said. "More demand and limited imports due to less cross border capacity."

The warm temperatures -- forecast to remain around 10 degrees Celsius through the week -- were expected to reduce heating demand and pressure spot prices.

Data from Thomson Reuters also showed renewable generation in the region would remain strong. Wind production in Germany was forecast above 10 GW with solar at 1.4 GW.

"Wind is still high but will drop towards the night," Point Carbon analysts wrote. "Also solar could drag peak prices lower."

Further along the curve, the Czech front month tumbled 1.60 euros to 41.10 euros amid the warm temperatures, while Hungarian electricity for February gained 1.05 euros to 50.50 euros.

On the Prague-based Power Exchange Central Europe, the Czech Cal '15 dipped 5 cents to 35.15 euros and the Hungarian front year was assessed at around 43.30 euros.

Around the region, the benchmark German Cal '15 contract fell 11 cents to 36.05 on Germany's EEX exchange in afternoon trade. Day ahead on Poland's POLPX exchange rose to 150.77 zlotys ($49.22)from 127.82 zlotys.

German power network operator 50Hertz plans to expand its power connections to Czech Republic, Poland, Denmark and Sweden to ensure stable power supply and make it easier to sell surplus renewable energy across borders.

In Bulgaria, the state energy regulator has begun an audit at the three power distributors in the Balkan country and the heating utility in capital Sofia after complaints of overcharging by customers.

Serbia's state-run power utility Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) generated a record 37,400 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity in 2013 due to healthy water levels and the availability of coal-fired plants.

Day ahead trading volumes on the Czech OTE spot power market rose nearly 7 percent to an all-time high in 2013 as more traders entered the central European market.

Brent crude oil rose above $107, rebounding after its biggest weekly fall in six months on news of the restart of a key Libyan oilfield. ($1 = 0.7346 euros) ($1 = 3.0631 Polish zlotys) (Reporting by Michael Kahn; editing by Keiron Henderson)

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