One trader stated that preparations for the flow reversal, which pipeline operator IUK is about to start tomorrow morning, sparked an increase in gas demand because the pipeline had to be filled during the transition period. Prices witnessed a sudden jump accordingly, he said, adding though that the impact was felt more strongly at the NBP than at Zeebrugge.
However, another source said that the market largely shrugged off the IUK news as traders had become used to the ongoing to and fro of flow reversals. Trading activity focussed on the Day-ahead contract, which went through in a range of 24.75 p/th to 25.75 p/th.
The Day-ahead basis was seen earlier in the day dealing at plus 0.50 p/th and 0.40 p/th but fell back during the afternoon to minus 0.25 p/th. It was last quoted at minus 0.10 p/th to plus 0.10 p/th, though the last outright deals reported were well above that level.
Weekend basis was quoted in the late afternoon at minus 0.30 p/th to zero. Given the mild weather and ample gas supply, several continental traders assigned downward potential to spot prices. One market source expressed the suspicion that an unknown participant was attempting to maintain prompt prices at artificially high levels.
With alternative energy sources such as LNG or coal increasingly competing against natural gas, “it seems a bit suspicious” that prices were above historic averages, he said. In the front month, a December deal was reported at 29.40 p/th, but further out on the curve, activity was limited to a Summer ´06 basis deal at plus 0.725 p/th. The basis was last quoted at 0.675-1.20 p/th.
At the Dutch TTF, Day-ahead deals were recorded between EUR 13.20/MWh and EUR 13.35/MWh, slightly above yesterday´s trading level. In addition, a 120 MWh Weekend parcel dealt at EUR 13.80/ MWh.
On the curve, trading interest went as far as Q1 ´05, which dealt at EUR 13.60/MWh. A TTF trader described trading at the Dutch market as being an occasional outbreak of activity followed by lacklustre periods, rather than a steady stream of activity. In her opinion, TTF activity – which is seen involving six to eight active counterparties at present – might be prompted whenever participants owning storage facilities spotted selling opportunities.
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GAS - Volatile Day-ahead
Mittwoch, 19.11.2003, 08:02 Uhr