Coronavirus impact on energy markets

10:39' PM - Wednesday, 14/10/2020

As the coronavirus spreads around the world and countries implement containment measures, energy supply and demand is being disrupted.

The impact that country-wide lockdowns and demand slowdowns will have on energy markets will be evolving every day.

Follow this Topic Page to stay up to date at this unprecedented time with expert insight and analysis of the impact coronavirus is having on energy markets.

Belgian power oversupply looms on rising nuclear, constrained demand

Belgian electricity demand is set remain lower compared with the 2015-19 average amid relatively mild weather for weeks 43 and 44 and increasingly strict coronavirus measures imposed in the country.

Low demand prospects and robust nuclear availability suggest a bearish outlook for Belgian power prices (ICIS paywall) over the coming weeks.

Southern Europe power demand surging but could fall back

Electricity consumption in Spain and Italy has recovered close to normal seasonal levels, according to ICIS models that control for temperature and calendar effects.

This may not sustain though into the autumn, and with coronavirus cases rising once more, the recovery could be even shorter lived.

Further downside ahead for power on fresh virus fears

Traders active on European power markets anticipate downside for prices especially in the event of a return to stricter coronavirus-prevention measures across the continent.

Governments have reintroduced partial restrictions to slow the spread of the virus, both on a regional level this week in Catalonia in Spain and on a national level in Belgium. Speculation regarding a second wave of the virus in Europe has already exerted a bearish influence on power forwards.

French power demand recovery outstripping other countries

Electricity consumption in Europe’s five largest countries was around 8% below expectations during week 26, according to ICIS models that control for temperature and calendar effects.

France was the clear outlier, with demand recovering to within 2.2GW or 4.8% of expected power use between 22-28 June.

European power demand recovery halts

Power demand across Europe continued its tentative recovery through June, although growth has been impeded by weaker consumption in the tourism and hospitality industries.

The average year-on-year power demand drop against the five-year average across the 13 European countries analysed by ICIS has eased since widening at the start of June.

But at -8.7%, the demand drop in the month to date remains one percentage point greater than in May. - ICIS -

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