* Group’s power spot volumes up 7 percent
* EU power derivatives volumes up 4 percent
* Gas and emissions volumes also higher (Updates throughout with detail, comment)
By Susanna Twidale
LONDON, Aug 2 (Reuters) - Energy bourse EEX saw trading volumes in power, emissions and gas products rise in the first half of 2018 and said on Thursday it plans to launch an exchange product for the liquefied natural gas (LNG) market later this year.
Spot LNG cargoes are mostly traded bilaterally. There are a small number of online trading portals but LNG buyers say more exchange products could help boost transparency and liquidity.
EEX, part of the Deutsche Boerse group, plans “to introduce that (LNG contract) before the end of the year”, CEO Peter Reitz said in a briefing with journalists.
He said EEX is working with industry participants to develop the contract and that with its hubs in the United States, Asia and Europe, the exchange is well placed to launch products for the global LNG market.
The group’s power spot market volumes, operated by Epex Spot, rose 7 percent to 288.4 terawatt hours (TWh) compared with the same period in 2017.
European power derivatives market volumes rose 4 percent while its Pegas natural gas market volumes, operated by Powernext, rose 3 percent to 958.7 TWh.
Reitz said power volumes bounced back from 2017’s low levels caused by uncertainty over regulators’ plans to split the German and Austrian joint trading zones.
German and Austrian energy regulators agreed to split their combined power market zone from Oct. 1, 2018. To ready for the move, EEX last year launched financially settled power futures specifically for the larger German market.
Reitz said he expected little impact on EEX’s European power volumes from Britain’s exit from the European Union next year.
“Whether the UK is a member of the EU or not doesn’t really change the hedging needs of (power) producers or consumers,” he said.
EEX’s emission market volumes more than doubled to 1.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide allowances in the first half of 2018.
EEX hosts auctions of EU carbon permits for Germany and Poland and on behalf of 25 member states that auction their allowances collectively.
Reporting by Susanna Twidale; Editing by Dale Hudson and Kirsten Donovan