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Wholesale oil and electricity prices fall but hikes on way

A fall in the wholesale price of oil, coal and electricity has triggered a drop in the Energy Index compiled by Bord Gais from a 31-month high -- but further price hikes are on the way.

The index has shown the biggest one-month fall, down 5pc, since March. The weaker euro against the dollar and sterling may also have been a factor in the decline, although the index remains 27pc higher than the same time last year.

While other components fell in price, the wholesale cost of gas continued to increase.

Michael Kelleher, energy trading analyst at Bord Gais Energy, said the drop in oil and coal prices was the result of the broad-based sell-off in commodity markets at the beginning of May on foot of weak economic data in the US and fears surrounding Chinese inflation.

"Futures markets are predicting relatively stable prices for the remainder of the summer but a return to higher prices in the fourth quarter of this year, which is primarily due to expected higher natural gas prices," he said.

"These higher gas prices could also result in higher electricity prices, as gas is one of the main fuels in power generation in Ireland."

Irish Independent