* Rain forecasts allay concerns of energy shortages
* Hydroelectric reservoirs at lowest levels on record
SAO PAULO Jan 11 Short-term energy prices in
Brazil retreated from a five-year high, energy clearinghouse
CCEE said on Friday, as expectations of rain eased fears of
The price at which companies will buy and sell energy
outside of long-term contracts next week, which the CCEE is
responsible for calculating, fell 38 percent from a week earlier
after rising for three straight weeks.
Concerns about an energy crisis have mounted as a hot, dry
summer has drained hydroelectric reservoirs, raising the risk of
widespread energy rationing for the first time since 2001.
Nearly all of the thermoelectric plants in Brazil have been
activated, as reservoirs at hydroelectric plants have dipped to
some of the lowest levels on record.
Rising forecasts for rain in Brazil's southeast, south and
northeast regions were responsible for lower short-term prices
on the national grid next week, CCEE said in a statement.
Brazilian officials have dismissed the possibility of energy
rationing this year, insisting that the country has enough
thermoelectric capacity to meet its needs.