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SPAIN – Spot finds support amid French nuclear outages

Spanish spot power prices are set to remain strong this week as nuclear outages in France continue to underpin power markets.

Baseload power for Monday and Tuesday settled at EUR 66.56/MWh and EUR 67.67/MWh, respectively, compared to last week’s average of EUR 65.25/MWh.

Spanish day-ahead prices could average EUR 65.71/MWh this week, according to Energy Quantified (EQ), a Montel company.

Market participants agreed. “[The average spot price] will remain around EUR 65/MWh,” said a Spanish trader, with another noting that spot prices will generally couple with the French daily baseload and could climb to EUR 68/MWh on weekdays.

French spot power prices could average at EUR 63.92/MWh in the current week, EQ data showed.

“The nuclear issue is still ongoing,” said one trader, noting French nuclear production was limited to 57% of capacity amid several maintenance outages and output curbs due to high water temperatures in the Rhone river.

Additionally, Spanish electricity demand was poised to average 29.3-29.7 GW/day this week, according to estimates from EQ and the TSO Red Electrica, compared to last week’s 29 GW/day.

Wind power generation could climb to 4.7 GW/day, up from last week’s average of 3.8 GW/day, the data showed. Meanwhile, spot gas prices remain around six-month highs of EUR 28.20/MWh.

Q4 high
Further out, the Spanish front-quarter contract set a fresh record on Monday at EUR 72.50/MWh on the EEX, the highest on a rolling basis since 2013.

Current circumstances of reduced French nuclear availability are “not optimal, but air conditioned consumption should drop in winter, and the cooling issues [in French reactors should] ease,” said one of the traders.

However, Spanish futures could remain underpinned by strong carbon and gas prices, he said.

The front-month gas contract last settled at EUR 27.58/MWh on the Spanish Mibgas exchange, its highest point since December on a rolling basis, while the Dec 18 EUA contract exceeded EUR 21/t earlier, extending the 10-year highs seen last week.

Source: Montel News