Germany/Austria: Gains on the NCG natural gas prompt but curve lacks clear direction
German natural gas contract prices showed a mixed picture on Friday, with NCG Day-ahead gaining €0.225/MWh day on day on the back of forecast lower temperatures.
The contract closed at €25.525/MWh and, with the exception of the NCG Weekend note, the rest of the prompt followed it to higher values.
Some traders attributed the gains to weather forecasts predicting colder weather. Other sources said that some upward pressure had come from increased demand, which caused the partial replacement of generation from the recently closed Brokdorf nuclear plant by gas-fired plants as wind and solar generation were not producing enough.
WSI predicts temperatures around normal next week, except for part of the country's western region, which is forecast to be around 2e_SDgrC colder. Traders said such mixed forecasts also explain the different directions of NCG Day-ahead and its equivalent GASPOOL product, which remained stable.
Nearer-dated NCG curve contracts ticked upwards on the prompt's high level, but the rest of the curve posted marginal losses, following crude oil's slight downward move.
Sources did not expect strong moves on the curve for next week, as the market is still looking for new price signals.
The Day-ahead contract at Baumgarten lost €0.15/MWh at Friday's close after gaining progressively during the session. The spot contract last traded at €26.50/MWh in the early afternoon but sources saw it losing ground afterwards. MH/MM
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