April 19, 2018 / 11:07 AM / a month ago

EUROPE POWER-Mild weather outlook weighs on prompt power contracts

PARIS, April 19 (Reuters) - European prompt power prices dipped in the wholesale market on Thursday as forecasts for mild weather are expected to curb electricity consumption, while a strike and production cut in France had little impact.

* German week-ahead baseload contract was down 3.6 percent at 31.30 euros ($38.70) per megawatt hour (MWh).

* The French equivalent Week 1 price slipped 3.7 percent to 32 euros/MWh.

* In the day-ahead market, the German contract for Friday delivery was at 38.75 euros/MWh, down 0.6 percent.

* The French spot for Friday fell 2.5 percent to 38 euros/MWh, shrugging off news that French energy workers are curbing output due to a strike.

* A nationwide strike called by unions to protest against the government’s planned liberalisation reforms reduced French electricity generation at nuclear and coal-fired plants by over 4 gigawatts (GW) on Thursday.

* Electricity demand is expected to fall by 1.3 GW day-on-day in Germany and 2.1 GW in France, according to Thomson Reuters data. Average temperature is expected to rise by about 1 degree Celsius in both countries on Thursday.

* Consumption next week is indicated flat to 1 GW down in both markets, while wind and solar production is seen modest.

* Marex Spectron analyst Giacomo Masato said in a note the macroeconomic view was overall supporting a bear trend in the power market, while anti-cyclonic conditions building up over the Mediterranean would lead to above-average temperatures.

* “While the abrupt drop in wind power production could have driven an increase in fossil fuels consumption, the predicted increase in hydro and solar could make up for the wind deficit,” he said.

* French nuclear power generation availability rose by over 2 percentage points to 74 percent of capacity after the restart of utility EDF’s Cruas 1 and Blayais 2 nuclear reactors.

* Along the year-ahead curve, the European benchmark, Germany’s Cal’19, rose 0.4 percent to 38.20 euros/MWh, tracking gains in coal and carbon prices.

* The French contract for 2019 added 0.6 percent to 43.10 euros/MWh.

* European carbon emissions rights for December 2018 expiry gained 0.7 percent to 13.93 euros a tonne.

* Cif Europe coal for 2019 rose 1 percent to $82.25 a tonne.

* In eastern Europe, the Czech day-ahead power contract, which mirrors the German prompt, fell 1 percent at 38.35 euros/MWh. The year-ahead position was up 1.6 percent 39.30 euros/MWh.. ($1 = 0.8087 euros) (Reporting by Bate Felix and Vera Eckert; Editing by Mark Potter )

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