LONDON, Jan. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Continental Europe's day-ahead power prices fell in December, while day-ahead natural gas prices edged higher, according to Platts, a leading global provider of energy, petrochemicals and metals information. But in the United Kingdom, power and natural gas prices moved in the same direction last month, higher versus November and up versus December 2011.
The average cost of day-ahead power in Continental Europe was €47.78 per megawatt hour (/MWh) in December 2012, as indicated by the Platts Conti Index*. This is down 6.7% from the November average of €51.20/MWh and up slightly from December 2011 average of €47.37/MWh.
"Seasonally, power prices often decline in December when there is less commercial and industry demand due to holiday-shortened schedules," said Anna Crowley, Platts European power editor. "The December price drop was accentuated by above-average temperatures, healthy renewable generation and no signs of underlying demand recovery."
While European power prices declined in December from November, U.K. day-ahead power prices increased. The latest monthly price assessments from Platts show that U.K. day-ahead power prices averaged 49.85 British pounds per megawatt hour (GBP/MWh) in December. This is up 2.3% from November's average and up 14.7% from the December 2011 average of 43.45 GBP/MWh.
"The U.K. saw record oil-fired power generation on December 12, when output from oil plants crossed the one gigawatt mark for the first time since December 2010," said Crowley. "This forced the price of within-day power to trade at levels in excess of 250 GBP/MWh."
In terms of natural gas, December prices were higher in Europe and the U.K. The latest monthly price assessments from Platts show the average cost of day-ahead natural gas at Continental Europe's most liquid hub, the Dutch TTF, was €27.32/MWh in December. That was up 0.26% from November's €27.25/MWh and up more than 22% from the December 2011 average of €22.31/MWh.
Platts' price assessments show that day-ahead gas prices in the U.K. rose from November to December and were up 10 pence/therm, or nearly 18%, versus December 2011.
"A cold snap early in December briefly supported short-term gas prices," said Crowley, "but the year-over-year price increase largely reflected oil price movements and the fact that oil indexation remained a key aspect of European gas contracts."
Platts Continental Europe and U.K. Day-Ahead Monthly Averages
U.K. Power (GBP/MWh)
U.K. Gas (pence/therm)
NOTE: All figures are monthly averages of daily day-ahead contract prices as assessed by Platts.
*Platts Continental Power (CONTI) Index is a demand-weighted baseload average of day-ahead contracts assessed in Germany, Switzerland, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. The Platts U.K. assessments reflect day-ahead contracts assessed for firm delivery of power on the high voltage network of England, Wales and Scotland, and at the National Balancing Point for gas. The Platts assessments reflect prices as determined between buyer and seller in the open physical markets.
About Platts: Founded in 1909, Platts is a leading global provider of energy, petrochemicals and metals information and a premier source of benchmark prices for the physical and futures markets. Platts' news, pricing, analytics, commentary and conferences help customers make better-informed trading and business decisions and help the markets operate with greater transparency and efficiency. Customers in more than 150 countries benefit from Platts' coverage of the carbon emissions, coal, electricity, oil, natural gas, metals, nuclear power, petrochemical, and shipping markets. A division of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP), Platts is headquartered in New York with approximately 900 employees in more than 15 offices worldwide. Additional information is available at http://www.platts.com.
About The McGraw-Hill Companies: McGraw-Hill announced on September 12, 2011, its intention to separate into two public companies: McGraw-Hill Financial, a leading provider of content and analytics to global financial markets, and McGraw-Hill Education, a leading education company focused on digital learning and education services worldwide. McGraw-Hill Financial's leading brands include Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Indices, Platts energy information services and J.D. Power and Associates. With sales of $6.2 billion in 2011, the Corporation has approximately 23,000 employees across more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/.