Netherlands: TTF prompt forced up on cold weather but curve trade stalls
The TTF was divided on Friday, with the prompt putting in a generally robust performance while the curve weakened on an almost wholesale basis.
At the close, the Day-ahead closed a lot firmer, locking in a gain of €0.75/MWh compared with Thursday's close, to settle at €16.40/MWh. This price was nevertheless softer than it had been. Trading on the Day-ahead contract got under way early at the TTF on Friday, with the first trade reported at 08:48 London time, at €16.25/MWh. Cold temperatures in the Netherlands played a part, but prices were predominantly driven by the NBP, where, despite the system being long in the morning, prices had spiked over fears of medium-term storage.
"When there's a lack of medium range in the UK, the BBL pipe is the only way to balance the system," one trader pointed out, and indeed BBL Pipeline flows stood at a steady 36Mm3 throughout the session. As a result, during early trading prices quickly climbed, reaching the day's intra-day high of €16.70/MWh in a little over an hour, before coming off over the session, leading one trader to call the morning's session "frantic".
The situation was exacerbated by the fact that there were widespread absences because of an industry event, and others agreed with this assessment, noting it had made trading choppy. Despite these absences, however, liquidity on the main spot product did not seem to suffer, going through in a total volume of almost 17.5GWh, according to trades reported to ICIS Heren.
At the close, Day-ahead dealt at both €16.35/MWh and €16.45/MWh, and was assessed at the mid-point of these two values, although it continued dealing at the higher price in the moments afterwards.
While business was still done on the prompt, little was done on the curve, which ticked down in value, particularly on the Winter '10 contract. "The lack of traders made the market more illiquid," one source conceded. Consequently, with the exception of the Summer '10 (which traded in a volume of more than 1GWh) and Cal '11, which changed hands nine times, in 110MWh.
Cal '12 and '13 traded right at the close at €19.00/MWh and €20.35/MWh respectively, which in the case of Cal '12 made it the curve's biggest loser, shedding €0.30/MWh. RS
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