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UK day-ahead power prices nudge higher as temperatures forecast to dip


UK day-ahead power prices climbed Monday as forecasts for below average temperatures lifted power demand amid easing wind power supply.

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At the 11 am London time close, baseload power for Tuesday delivery was last heard trading at GBP32.55/MWh, up 75 pence from Friday's assessment for Monday, while the Tuesday peakload contract gained 85 pence to GBP36.75/MWh.

The UK base day-ahead auction settled below the OTC price at GBP31.95/MWh, exchanges N2EX and APX said.

Network operator National Grid said it expected peak power demand to increase to 49.2 GW Tuesday, higher than Monday's forecast of 48.6 GW, while peak wind power generation was expected to drop to 5.6 GW, from the 6.1 GW predicted for Monday.

Expectations for colder weather conditions in the UK will likely push demand as high as 50.2 GW mid-week, the grid said.

According to forecaster CustomWeather, temperatures in London and Manchester, currently 2-3 degrees Celsius above seasonal norms, are likely to drop back to levels usually seen at this time of the year.

On the supply side, gas-fired power production reached 15.2 GW, accounting for nearly 37% of the UK's energy mix at midday Monday, while electricity generated from nuclear and coal plants stood at 7.7 GW and 8.8 GW, respectively, the grid said.

Wind farms in the UK contributed 3.6 GW of power to the system, representing nearly 9% of the energy mix, while power through the Dutch and French interconnectors were stable at 1 GW and 2 GW, respectively, the grid data showed.

Also, an uptick in spot gas prices because of a shortage in supplies gave a bullish signal to the prompt power market.

The NBP within-day and day-ahead contracts traded at 29 pence/therm after closing at 28.70 p/th on Friday.