Business Irish

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Supply issues fuel hike in wholesale gas prices

The Vayu report noted that the wholesale gas prices were now back at levels not seen since last February. Thinkstock
The Vayu report noted that the wholesale gas prices were now back at levels not seen since last February. Thinkstock
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Wholesale gas prices have soared by a third in recent weeks, according to the latest Vayu Energy Report.

It means that businesses are likely to face higher costs this winter.

The Vayu report noted that the wholesale gas prices were now back at levels not seen since last February.

The strong euro has tempered some of the impact against sterling-priced gas.

"Supply issues in Norway have resulted in the level of gas being supplied into the UK being less than the demand, which had a significant impact on the wholesale gas price," noted the Vayu report.

"From February to July, gas prices steadily declined, but the Norwegian supply issues have seen the market move from strength to strength, with the market reversing the losses from the previous five months by the end of August, representing a 14pc increase from July."

It added that on a global level, increased stocks of liquid natural gas had helped to put downward pressure on gas prices due to higher production rates.

But the Vayu report noted that the UK was currently not seeing much of those additional stocks landing at any of its terminals, as cargoes were heading for the higher-priced Asian markets.

The impact of Hurricane Harvey has also spurred prices.

"We are anticipating considerable energy price volatility this winter, which could be worrying for businesses as this is the time when their energy usage is at its highest," said Vayu senior energy analyst Keith Donnelly.

He said that in euro terms, Irish wholesale gas prices were 30pc more expensive on average during August, compared with August 2016.

Irish Independent

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