June 19, 2018 / 9:10 AM / 4 months ago

EUROPE POWER-Focus on week-ahead as French utility workers plan strike

FRANKFURT, June 19 (Reuters) - European week-ahead power prices on Tuesday gained on protective buying after workers at French utility EDF said they would embark on a 10-day strike in response to economic reform plans that could take away some of their benefits.

* Traders said while it was unclear which plants might be affected to what degree, the wider European market took solace from falling demand and prospects of more German wind power output.

* “Holidays will begin in some German states next week,” one trader said. Germany’s 16 states vary summer holidays between June and September to lessen the impact on operations and infrastructure, while those in France are less stretched out over July/August.

* German baseload power for next week was 2.9 percent up at 44 euros ($50.82) a megawatt hour (MWh). French next-week delivery was 3.9 percent up at 46.25 euros.

* By contrast, day-ahead prices were down 1.5 percent and 3.1 percent respectively in Germany and France as more thermal supply was seen offsetting slightly higher demand.

* Thomson Reuters data showed consumption edging 200 MW higher in both countries up to Wednesday but average daily power usage should drop by a sharp 4 gigawatts (GW) in Germany and by 2 GW in France next week.

* German wind power output, currently at a low of 8.6 GW and due to fall to 6 GW Wednesday, will pick up to a maximum 18 GW over the next fortnight.

* Power forwards declined along with falling related carbon, gas and oil prices.

* Germany’s Cal’19 baseload shed 0.8 percent to 41.6 euros/MWh and the contract’s French equivalent lost 0.9 percent to 46.6 euros.

* Benchmark European AP12 coal for 2019 was untraded after a $89 a tonne close.

* European carbon permits for December 2018 expiry dropped by 1.5 percent to 14.38 euros a tonne.

* In eastern Europe, the Czech day-ahead contract was untraded after closing at 49.75 euros on Tuesday. Czech year-ahead power was unchanged at 43.05 euros. ($1 = 0.8657 euros) (Reporting by Vera Eckert Editing by Louise Heavens)

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