Energy Key Facts & Figures

Enjoy the reading of the regular summary describing the most important news and trends in the European energy markets published by the Energy Markets Department of Veolia.

Oil

  • On November 30th, for the first time in 8 years, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) announced that it will reduce its oil output by about 1.2 million barrels a day by January to 32,5 million barrels. The deal overcame disagreements between the group's largest producers - Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq - and even extented beyond with Russia agreeing to cut production;
  • As a result oil main markers (Brent and WTI) posted a 10%-rise - now above 50 $/bbl - and the share price of oil companies gained ground. Wether the rise will be sustained or not will depend on how strictly OPEC members stick to the agreement.

Coal

  • Coal prices have been soaring up dramatically since the beginning of the year. The main European reference (API2 Index) that assesses the price of imported coal in Anvers, Rotterdam and Amsterdam jumped from c.44 USD/T in the early days of February to c.87 USD/T in November on the SPOT market;
  • The global coal prices rise is mainly due to a surge in Chinese imports. To reduce overcapacity and limit pollution, the Chinese Governement decided to limit the domestic coal production. But to cope with its massive needs, the country imported 15% more coal (year-on-year) between January and September pushing price upwards. China is now allowing some big domestic producers to increase their outputs during winter, thus now softening prices.

Gas

  • All European SPOT markets emboldened in Q4 2016 underpinned by a rising consumption due to the fall of temperatures. Forward price for 2017 also increased slightly and have recovered from their 2016 lows back above the 17 EUR/MWh mark - except for the Dutch TTF and the UK NBP facing less supply/demand tightness;
  • Gas markets remain correlated with the oil market overall and could gather speed following the OPEC agreement of November 30th - despite less and less oil-indexation in gas supply contracts.

Electricity

  • Power markets have been rising during Q4 2016, especially the French market pushed at 4-year highs on the SPOT in November (average c.66 EUR/MWh) following annoucements of utility EDF that the nuclear availability would reach an 8-year low in 2016 due to reactors to be maintained off-frid for safety reasons;
  • The situation on the SPOT market somewhat filtered through long term French and German markets with the 'calendar' 2017 forward contract posting a 40%-rise at c.47 EUR/MWh and a 22%-rise at c.33 EUR/MWh respectively between September and November.

Carbon

  • The bellwether forward contract 'December-2016' soared between mid-September (below 4 €/T) and the beginning of November (c. 6,6 €/T) but corrected downwards end-November around 4,5 €/T;
  • The bigger price impact can be attributed to the increasing power baseload price in November for the French (resp. German) market, following announcements of French utility EDF. This bullish power price development, relatively higher than gas and coal increases, pushed profit margins up thus incentivizing power companies to hedge them by buying emissions permits.

Source: VEOLIA - Technical & Performance Department