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EUROPE GAS-Dutch prices fall as European Union eyes price caps

Dutch wholesale gas prices fell on Friday as EU energy ministers gathered to discuss measures to tackle the energy crisis, including a cap on prices, while British prices rose due to a rise in gas for power demand.

In the Dutch market, the day-ahead price was 9.90 euros lower at 169.10 euros per megawatt hour (MWh) by 0915 GMT, while the weekend price fell by 13.23 euros to 163.77 euros/MWh.

The UK day ahead contract was up 5.00 pence at 185.00 pence per therm, and the weekend price was 15.00 pence higher at 170.00 pence/therm.

Ministers from the 27 EU member countries are negotiating measures proposed by Brussels earlier this month to contain an energy price surge that is stoking record-high inflation and threatening a recession.

Diplomats were confident ministers would approve the package on Friday.

Belgium’s energy minister said European countries can contain energy costs by capping the price they pay for gas imports without jeopardising their supply of gas, but other countries including Austria are opposed.

Refinitiv analysts said their outlook for gas prices in the UK was “bullish due to a rise in gas for power demand forecast … amid weaker wind speeds.”

Britain’s gas system was 14.5 million cubic metres (mcm) under-supplied, with supply forecast at 216 million cubic metres (mcm) and demand at around 230 mcm, National Grid data showed.

“The combination of mild and stormy weather expectations for early October and comfortable LNG imports largely offset unplanned outages affecting the ramp-up in Norwegian gas production,” said analysts at EnergyScan.

In the European carbon market, the benchmark contract was inched up by 1.12 euro to 66.85 euros a tonne.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin; editing by Nina Chestney)

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