Europe gas and power markets short-term outlook Q1 2018
Gas demand to the end of 2017 has strengthened compared to 2016 due to lower nuclear and hydro output, reaching 208 bcm in the first half of 2017, a 5.4% increase over 2016. We forecast Russian and Norwegian flows to remain strong into 2018 with only a small decline. As the market slides into oversupply during the summer of 2019, Russia and Norway will show further restraint whilst maintaining market share. Despite recent cold weather, power prices have remained relatively benign during winter 2018/19. The UK will retain its substantial premium over power prices in continental Europe, with higher gas costs raising our outlook for prices in 2019. In Germany, the economics of gas will face substantial challenges in 2018 and 2019, with even the winter months failing to offer any material support at base load. This report includes an outlook for European gas balances and forecast North West European gas and power prices out to Q4 2019.