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German prompt power prices bearish, French spot up on outages

London — * German week-ahead falls almost Eur20 in a week on temps, more wind
* French day-ahead lifted by drop in generation capacity
* Temps rise above the seasonal norm across Central Western Europe

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In Germany prompt prices eased considerably as warmer and windier weather next week pointed to more supply and less demand in the market.

The week-ahead contract was last seen trading at Eur33/MWh Monday morning compared with a startling Eur51.50/MWh last Monday. This means a decrease of almost Eur20 from Week 7 to Week 8 for week-ahead power delivery in Germany.

The peakload contract for week 8 received bids and offers ranging between Eur39/MWh and Eur45/MWh.



Recently European power prices had spiked in the face of cold spells and nuclear outages, but now the German market has turned bearish amid a lasting milder weather.

The day-ahead baseload contract in Germany eased almost Eur2 on the day, last heard at Eur45.15/MWh, while the peak lost nearly Eur5, last heard at Eur50/MWh. Epex Spot settled below the OTC market at Eur42.98/MWh for base and Eur47.13/MWh for the peak. A trader told Platts of a weak German Intraday market during Monday morning trading.

The new front-weekend traded lower as well, in line with the bearishness of other prompt prices in Germany.

Wind-generated power was forecast to remain below 10 GW for average baseload hours until Sunday, but was set to surge afterwards, data from SpotRenewables showed.

Day-on-day, wind output for average baseload hours was set to drop by 3 GW to 9 GW during Tuesday.

Combined hard coal and lignite availability for Tuesday was set to rise to 34 GW, while nuclear stood at 6.6 GW, data from EEX Transparency showed.

Further out, all contracts on the German curve lost value during Monday's morning trading session.

The front-month was down Eur1.65, last heard at Eur35.75/MWh, while the German Cal18 contract lost 40 euro cent, at Eur29.65/MWh. Front-year coal into Europe was last heard at $65.25/mt, down 45 cents from Friday's close.


FRENCH SPOT UP ON NUCLEAR REACTOR OUTAGE


French day-ahead power prices Monday turned bullish after French nuclear operator EDF unexpectedly removed two reactors from the grid, with two others operating at reduced capacity.

French baseload power for Tuesday delivery was last heard trading at Eur54.50/MWh, up Eur3.25/MWh from Monday's baseload price assessed on Friday.

Tuesday peakload was last heard at Eur60/MWh, up Eur3.

Epex Spot settled French day-ahead above the OTC with baseload at Eur54.72/MWh and peakload at Eur61.55/MWh.

Nuclear generation capacity was reduced Monday after EDF removed its 1.3 GW St Alban-2 and Golfech-2 reactors from the grid over the weekend, with its 900 MW Tricastin-1 and Blayais-2 units also seen operating at reduced capacity of around 700 MW. EDF did not give any further details about the unexpected outages, stating only "failure" as the reason for the shutdown.

The latest plant availability schedule from French grid operator RTE showed St Alban 2 was due to return online by Tuesday, while Golfech-2 will not be back until Thursday. Over the weekend, EDF also took its 1.3 GW Paluel-3 reactor offline for planned annual maintenance, with the unit expected back online end-August.

Reduced thermal capacity for Tuesday managed to offset the bearish impact of lower load levels. Demand on Tuesday was seen ticking down on the day to peak at 74.2 GW, according to RTE, as temperatures are set to rise slightly on the day as well, to 5 C above the norm for this period.