Prices mostly fall as market seeks clarity on EU intervention

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Dutch and British wholesale gas prices continued to fall on Tuesday morning as participants await clarity on EU plans for market intervention and as gas storage sites continue to fill.

The benchmark Dutch contract for October was down 3.50 euros at 187 euros per megawatt hour (MWh) by 0927GMT.

The British October contract was down by 12pence at 345.00 pence/therm.

“Gas lives in an interesting world. Healthy storages and demand destruction are influential at the moment. But when cold kicks in and Russian gas is cut further then (prices are) likely to go up again,” a trader said.

The uncertainty over what effect market intervention planned by the European Union could have has pressured gas prices lower over the past two weeks, in addition to very healthy storage levels, said Fabian Roenning, a senior analyst at Rystad Energy.

The European Union is set to unveil a package of proposed emergency measures this week, with some countries calling for price caps on power and gas.

EU gas storages have already surpassed an 80% filling level targeted for November 1, with gas still being added.

This has outweighed the otherwise bullish price signal of the stop in Russian gas deliveries through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, Roenning added.

“Prices are still extremely high, even if we have seen more than a 30% reduction from the top,” Roenning said.

Still, an expected drop in temperatures below normal by the end of this week should provide fundamental support, analysts at Engie Energy Scan said.

The Dutch day-ahead contract was down 10 euro sat 177 euros/MWh, while the British counterpart was up 15 pence at 340 pence per therm.

A short system at market opening and forecast rise in demand, mostly linked to heating, by 7 million cubic metres(mcm) per day on Wednesday supported the British day-ahead price, Refinitiv analysts said.

The UK system was 11.4 mcm short on Tuesday, according to National Grid data.

In Europe, the expected start of deliveries from the new liquid natural gas (LNG) terminal in the
Dutch port of Eemshaven from Wednesday should be a bearish driver, the Refinitiv analysts added.

In the European carbon market, the benchmark contract rose by 0.33 euros to 72.15 euros a tonne.