NBP: very pronounced downward trend
The NBP price in March stood at €23.2/MWh (US$9.4/MBtu), 4.7% down from February and 13.6% down from January. The first listing for the month of April was at €20.7/MWh (US$8.4/MBtu), 10.8% below the average for March. These are relatively low levels which mark a return to the listings seen in 2011. However, the market is not expecting to fall dramatically over the summer, and a mean price of €20.9/MWh is forecast for NBP. Several factors seem to be behind this downward trend. Demand continues to be weak in the UK – 79 Gm3 in 2013, as opposed to 99 Gm3 in 2010. This is also the case for the 28 countries that make up the European Union – consumption in 2013 was at 462 Gm3 (source: Eurogas), down 13% (70 Gm3) compared with 2010. The competitive price with coal, estimated at €14/MWh, is also considerably lower than the current price. And the price of Brent is falling, now standing at less than US$106/b.