PIRA Energy Group's Weekly Natural Gas, Power and Coal Market Recap for the Week Ending April 13th, 2014

Russian Supply Cutoff via Ukraine Unlikely To Happen, while Coal Pricing Benefiting from Strength in Natural Gas Markets

  • Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on PinterestEmail a friend
PIRA Energy Group

PIRA Energy Group

The longer term implications of a Russian supply cutoff via Ukraine are so significant that PIRA still believes that it is unlikely to happen, even if now would be the ideal time.

New York, NY (PRWEB) April 16, 2014

NYC-based PIRA Energy Group reports that Russian supply cutoff via Ukraine is unlikely to happen. While In the U.S., the first EIA report of the injection season revealed a paltry 4 BCF build. Specifically, PIRA’s analysis of natural gas market fundamentals has revealed the following:

Russian Supply Cutoff via Ukraine Unlikely To Happen

The longer term implications of a Russian supply cutoff via Ukraine are so significant that PIRA still believes that it is unlikely to happen, even if now would be the ideal time – low seasonal gas demand and limited risk to Western Europe – to trigger it. If Russia's mega-investment in pipeline gas to Asia were already built, that would be one thing, but the broader plans for such a grid outlined in this week's Gazprom Investment Day presentation do not envision such a system until late 2019 at the earliest. The longstanding marriage between European gas demand and Russian gas export revenues is very much alive and well, and with it, a marital compromise will have to be reached with regard to how Ukraine's debts will be paid in the future.

Paltry Stock Build

The first EIA report of the injection season revealed a paltry 4 BCF build, splitting the uprights between the five-year average 9 BCF build and the year-ago 25 BCF draw. Nevertheless, the indicated figure was well below consensus estimates that called for a build some 10 BCF higher, and was even below the low end of the market’s range. With the report’s lowball number unmasking inherently more bullish underlying fundamentals, the NYMEX prompt contract rallied ~15¢ on the news, erasing early-session losses on its way to an overall day-on-day gain of ~7¢ by settlement.

Jump in Price Volatility Is Emerging in Three Major Markets

In the three major regional gas markets around the world, a noticeable jump in price volatility is emerging after several years of near dormancy. In North America, higher prices are being driven by low storage coming out of winter and in Europe, lower prices are being driven by high storage coming out of winter. In Asia, second quarter spot prices have dropped roughly 20% over the past 90 days and it is all too clear that buyers of choice have replaced buyers of necessity during the seasonal dip in Asian gas demand.

NYC-based PIRA Energy Group reports that coal pricing is benefiting from strength in natural gas markets. While in the Europe, discussions on pricing of French nuclear power appears stalled. Specifically, PIRA’s analysis of electricity and coal market fundamentals has revealed the following:

Coal Pricing Benefiting from Strength in Natural Gas Markets

Seaborne coal prices moved higher across the board last week, although weaker dry bulk freight rates gave more upside momentum to FOB pricing points than CIF ones. The threat of Russia cutting off gas to and through Ukraine grabbed headlines last week, sending NBP gas prices higher. The oil market also ticked up last week, and coal pricing followed suit. Coal specific fundamentals remain weak overall, with robust supply and sluggish demand growth.

The Costs of the French Nuclear Power Being Discussed

The discussion around the price of the ARENH (Regulated access to historical nuclear electricity) appears to have stalled. Set to be released by the end of March 2014, the decree updating the price of EDF's nuclear power allocated to its competitors appears to be slated to be published only during the summer, leaving a big regulatory vacuum for large volumes of electricity at a time when the French electricity supply/demand balances are looking considerably bearish.

The information above is part of PIRA Energy Group's weekly Energy Market Recap, which alerts readers to PIRA’s current analysis of energy markets around the world as well as the key economic and political factors driving those markets.

Click here for additional information on PIRA’s global energy commodity market research services.

PIRA Energy Group
3 Park Avenue, 26th Floor
New York, NY 10016
212-686-6808
sales(at)pira(dot)com

Follow us on LinkedIn& Twitter

How will crude oil trade flows evolve? What will determine the volume of U.S. product exports?
Click to view PIRA’s new multi client study: Shale Crude’s Growing Global Impact: Consequences for Trade Flows and Pricing Within and Beyond North America’s Borders