(Montel) Germany’s benchmark Cal 23 power contract has jumped over EUR 900/MWh for the first time as concerns about dwindling Russian gas supplies ahead of winter and thinning liquidity buoyed the market.
The Q1 2023 contract jumped to a record high EUR 1,300/MWh on Friday and was last seen up EUR 240 at EUR 1250/MWh.
Traders earlier referred to the three-day outage of the key Nord Stream 1 pipeline scheduled for next week as the main driver, with concerns the conduit to Germany would not restart after maintenance due to heightened tensions with operator Russia.
"There is absolute panic about the maintenance of Nord Stream 1 and fears that Russia will stop the flows completely this time,” a trader said earlier today.
“Liquidity is extremely low, but some participants out there are still trying to cover their 2023 position,” another trader said.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, flows over the pipeline have been reduced several times and are now just a fifth of annual capacity of 55bcm.
Apart from the reduced gas flows from Russia, European power and gas prices have surged amid muted wind power generation in Germany, low nuclear power availability in France and recent heatwaves and drought this summer.
According to Montel’s head of technical analysis Tom Hovik, the front-year power contract should remain bullish.
“Seeing price at above EUR 1,000/MWh during the next week will not be of any technical surprise as the technical landscape is exponentially very strong,” Hovik said.