* Gas infeed increases at nuclear expense
* Import volumes steady on year
* Prices supported by warm weather
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Demand for power in Belgium fell by 11.5% on the year to total 5.86 TWh during July, 0.76 TWh below last July's figure but almost unchanged on the month, a Platts analysis of Elia data showed.
The drop in demand was accompanied by a reduction in domestic output rather than a reduction in imports, which were largely unchanged on the year.
During July, Belgian generators produced 3.98 TWh of power, down from 4.80 TWh in July last year, while import flows were up just 0.06 TWh on the year to 1.88 TWh.
Belgium's reliance on imports posted a year-on-year increase in July 2015, accounting for 32.1% of demand, up from 27.5% last year, as imported volumes remained stable while both demand and domestic generation slid.
NUCLEAR INFEED FALLS
Nuclear infeed during July was 1.81 TWh, 36% lower than the 2.83 TWh that was generated during July 2014. Nuclear generation remained the dominant source of domestically generated Belgian power, representing 46% of total domestic generation during July, down from 59% one year previous.
Nuclear generation also posted a month-on-month fall, down 18.5% from the 2.22 TWh output seen in June, with the deficit replaced by an increase in gas burn, the data shows.
Gas-fired generation reached 1.28 TWh in July, 23% more than June's 1.04 TWh output but still below the 1.36 TWh seen in July 2014.
France remained the major source of imports into Belgium, although the proportion of power entering over the Dutch border increased from 18% to 31% from July 2014 to 2015.
Physical flows from France totaled 1.3 TWh in July, down from 1.49 TWh in 2014, while those from the Netherlands were 0.58 TWh, up from 0.33 TWh one year previous.
PRICES WARMED BY HEATWAVE
Belgian day-ahead power averaged Eur45.10/MWh during July, Platts pricing data showed, Eur10.29/MWh higher on the year as prompt prices throughout the Benelux region were buoyed by unseasonally warm weather throughout continental Europe and tightness in both Germany and France due to capacity reductions and summer maintenance.
Belgian power is anticipated to be weaker during August, analysis of curve pricing data shows, with the month-ahead baseload contract averaging Eur39.66/MWh during July and expiring at Eur39.10/MWh on July 31, Eur6/MWh lower than the average day-ahead price during July.