March 17, 2020 / 9:06 AM / 22 days ago

EUROPE POWER-Prompt falls as demand eases, supply rises

FRANKFURT, March 17 (Reuters) - European spot electricity prices fell on Tuesday as demand eased due to the coronavirus crisis, which is keeping workers at home and seeing industries close, and as thermal and renewable power supply increased.

* Virus-related restrictions were curtailing commercial activity in main markets, while sunnier weather boosted solar generation and key producer Germany’s wind output is due to see a short-term boost.

* The price of day-ahead baseload delivery in Germany was 16.4% off at 24.3 euros ($27.01) a megawatt hour (MWh) and the same day-ahead contract in France was down 14% at 24.5 euros at 0855 GMT.

* French power consumption was down 10% on Monday compared with the normal for this period of the year, a spokeswoman for grid operator RTE said. RTE expects demand to fall further as France moves into a lockdown and reduction of public services from Tuesday afternoon.

* Electricity generation from German wind turbines is expected to rise by 6 gigawatt (GW) day-on-day to come in at 17.3 GW on Tuesday, Refinitiv data showed. But thereafter, levels should trail off into a moderate daily range of roughly 4-8 GW on the remaining working days this week.

* Power consumption is expected to slip 400 MW day-on-day in Germany to 67.6 GW on Wednesday, and fall by 1.5 GW to 56.3 GW in France.

* However, next week will likely see higher usage in France because current temperature levels around 12 degree Celsius are expected to fall towards 9 degrees. The country’s electric heating infrastructure is exposed to temperature changes.

* Power curve prices were narrowly mixed as carbon and oil prices rebounded.

* Germany’s Cal ‘21 baseload, the European futures benchmark, shed 0.1% to 37.5 euros/MWh, narrowly above a 21-month low.

* The equivalent French year-ahead contract was untraded after a close at 40.4 euros, just above a 25-month low.

* December 2020 expiry European CO2 allowances were 0.3% up at 19.52 euros a tonne, having fallen to 13 month-lows on Monday.

* Hard coal for northern European delivery in 2021 added 1.4% to $56.5 a tonne, but remaining near four-year lows on the economic downturn in major consumer China.

* In eastern Europe, Czech day-ahead baseload was untraded after Tuesday closed at 36.3 euros. Year-ahead power did not change hands after closing at 42.8 euros. ($1 = 0.8997 euros) (Reporting by Vera Eckert; aditional reporting by Bate Felix in Paris, Editing by Mark Potter)

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