Saturday 23 September 2017

Gas prices soar by 18pc amid fears of sterling impact

 

"The euro is trading at a stronger level than this time last year, making gas cheaper for Irish businesses," Vayu senior energy analyst Keith Donnelly said. (stock image)
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

Irish wholesale gas prices were on average 18pc higher year-on-year in May, according to the latest market report from energy suppliers Vayu Energy.

But the report said that, despite some recent downward pressure, prices appear to have encountered a floor - finding it difficult to push lower.

"The euro is trading at a stronger level than this time last year, making gas cheaper for Irish businesses," Vayu senior energy analyst Keith Donnelly said.

"FX (foreign exchange) is key at the moment with Brexit negotiations still on the horizon, and a comprehensive win for Theresa May in the upcoming UK general election could mean a rally for sterling hitting Irish businesses," Donnelly added.

"A win for the Conservatives will result in a strong pound and bullish gas market, while a good showing from Labour will restrict that movement somewhat."

Vayu said there had been some weakness in the price at the end of the month, with demand from Europe set to drop for the summer.

"Fundamentally, everything from temp- erature-driven demand to supply is as would be expected for the summer period," Donnelly said.

Vayu said the closing days of the month saw some give as Continental demand is due to be removed from the picture over the coming weeks.

"The sterling/euro currency market has moved sideways over the last month with any gains for the euro versus the pound wiped out within a day or two," Vayu said.

Vayu said the average wholesale electricity price was up 15pc year-on-year in May, but down 6pc month-on-month.

It said the year-on-year rise could be largely attributed to the rise in gas prices.

Wind energy accounted for an average of 20.6pc of electricity generated on the island, it said.

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