Wholesale gas prices fall by 2% since September

Wholesale gas prices in Northern Ireland have fallen by 2 per cent over the past month
Gareth McKeown

WHOLESALE gas prices in the north have fallen by 2 per cent since last month, but crucially are 5 per cent more expensive than the same time last year.

According to this month's Vayu Energy report following an expensive September driven by outages, October has held its value as businesses enter the gas winter period.

The average day ahead price for gas, the contract for gas delivery tomorrow, is 45.23 p/th (pence per therm) for October. This compares with an average price of 42.97 p/th in October 2016.

Vayu senior energy analyst Keith Donnelly said following fluctuations the October rate has become consistent, but foresees further price increases on the horizon.

“October and the 2017/18 gas year began with massive gains on the prompt market as prices rose by 9 per cent followed by a further 4 per cent on the opening two days of the month. However, if you looked past the dramatic figures, it becomes clear it was a market correction following unsupported losses on the final trading day of the 2016/17 gas year."

“Gains continued through the opening week of the month driven by fluctuations in Norwegian supplies due to maintenance, an all too similar story over the last number of months. When Norwegian supplies returned prices fell off by 8 per cent to 10 per cent. Since then prices have remained fairly consistent, on a slow and steady upward trend."

The Vayu report also shows the average wholesale price of electricity in the Single Electricity market in October is 4.00 p/kWh, a decrease of 17 per cent compared with October 2016 and down 3 per cent on last month.

Meanwhile total wind generation capacity in Ireland still stands at 3,916 MW, but this month accounted for approximately 34 per cent of overall electricity generation on the island, a 6 per cent increase on September.

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