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CEE POWER-Spot rises on consumption forecasts, long-term prices hit 4-month low
January 7, 2014 / 3:51 PM / in 4 years

CEE POWER-Spot rises on consumption forecasts, long-term prices hit 4-month low

* Czech Cal ‘14 hits lowest level since Aug. 26

* Polish utilities to have 2.2 gigawatts offline on Thursday

* Prague completes deal to buy E.ON’s stake in gas firm

PRAGUE, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Forecasts for increased consumption, power plant outages and a a drop in renewables drove central European day ahead electricity higher on Tuesday, though warm winter weather capped gains, traders said.

On regional exchanges, Czech and Slovak electricity for Wednesday jumped more than 11 percent to 34.67 euros ($47.30)per megawatt hour. Hungary remained higher at 48.71 euros with the premium shrinking to about 14 euros from around 29 euros.

Data from Thomson Reuters Point Carbon showed forecasts for consumption to rise across the region, with wind generation in Germany falling more than 2 GW to 9.2 GW.

Outages also supported spot prices, with Czech utility CEZ units offline at its Detmarovice, Melnik and Prunerov power plants.

In over-the-counter trade, day ahead rose to 34 euros in the Czech Republic, 34.25 euros in Slovakia and 55 euros in Hungary. Temperatures were forecast to be about 9 degrees Celsius, well above seasonal averages.

“There is also less solar tomorrow and there are quite a few outages,” one trader said.

Further along the curve, the Czech front month dipped 15 cents to 40.95 euros and Hungarian electricity for February declined 63 cents to 50.30 euros as the warm weather weighed, traders said.

On the Prague-based Power Exchange Central Europe, the Czech Cal ‘14 fell 20 cents to 34.95 euros, hitting the lowest level since matching the same price on Aug. 26 amid weak coal, carbon and spot prices. The Hungarian front year fell 15 cents to 43.15 euros.

Around the region, the benchmark German Cal ‘14 contract fell 11 cents to 35.95 euros in afternoon trade on Germany’s EEX exchange.

Prague has completed a deal to buy German utility E.ON’s majority stake in Czech gas company Prazska Plynarenska for 6.25 billion crowns ($310.20 million).

Poland’s utilities will have 2.2 GW of power offline for planned maintenance on Thursday, data from grid operator PSE showed. Day ahead on the country’s POLPX exchange rose to 157.88 zlotys ($51.58) from 150.77 zlotys.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch shut its European power and gas sales and trading operation, the fourth big player to close parts of its commodities business as tighter regulation and fewer arbitrage opportunities erode profits.

Oil rose to $107 a barrel after five straight declines, supported by doubts about a recovery in Libyan output, fighting in Iraq and the production threat posed by extreme cold weather in the United States.

European Union carbon futures rose 8 cents to 4.80 euros in afternoon trade. ($1 = 0.7330 euros) ($1 = 3.0610 Polish zlotys) (Reporting by Michael Kahn; Editing by David Goodman)

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