Dutch prices mixed as UK holiday saps liquidity

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Dutch wholesale gas prices showed a mixed picture on Thursday morning following a heavy sell-off on Wednesday and as a long bank holiday weekend in the UK muted activity in the market.

In the Dutch market, the July TTF contract was down 0.85 euros at 84.70 euros per megawatt hours (MWh) by 0949 GMT, with the August price 0.83 euros lower at 86.21 euros/MWh, according to trades on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE).

The TTF contract for winter 2022 traded 0.78 euros higher at 94.80 euros/MWh, on the ICE exchange.

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“Liquidity should be weak today as the UK market is closed for a long bank holiday weekend for the celebrations of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee,” analysts at Engie EnergyScan said in a morning note.

Still, there was some activity, and prompter prices were continuing to come off after posting a large drop on Wednesday on the back of a rebound in Russian gas flows through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, a trader said.

Flows fell on Tuesday in the wake of Russia cutting gas supplies to some European customers in Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany for failing to comply with a demand to pay for deliveries in roubles, but rose again on Wednesday and remained fairly stable on Thursday.

The rebound has helped calm market fears that further countries might see supplies cut off, analysts said.

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However, gas contracts for the winter season continued to trade at a premium to prompt contracts, “reflecting comfy storage this summer and massive risk next winter,” the trader said.

Gas storage facilities in the EU are now 47.1% full and close to their 5-year average levels, data from Gas Infrastructure Europe showed.

On Wednesday, Germany also empowered the state-appointed trustee for Gazprom Germania to fill the northern German Rehden natural gas storage site up from its current 2% level to help ensure energy supply security.

In the European carbon market, the benchmark contract rose by 1.98 euros to 88.06 euros a tonne. (Reporting by Nora Buli in Oslo; Editing by Jan Harvey)