Higher crude prices slow fall in energy costs

Cost of coal and gas down in June but traders fearful over oil due to Middle East instability

European coal prices fell by 9 per cent in June as a result of low demand due to warm weather and steady supply. Photograph: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg.

European coal prices fell by 9 per cent in June as a result of low demand due to warm weather and steady supply. Photograph: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg.

 

Electricity and gas prices are slowly receding from the record high levels experienced at the beginning of this year.

The Bord Gáis Energy Index, which measures wholesale energy prices, fell (- 1 per cent) in June and is now 18 per cent lower than its March reading, when a prolonged cold-snap and supply fears drove prices to record highs. The Index stands 2 per cent higher than it did at this time last year.

Falling wholesale electricity, gas and coal prices and reduced demand during the summer season were counterbalanced by an increase in the cost of Brent crude oil.

Bord Gáis trader John Heffernan said oil prices remained high as energy markets were concerned that instability in the Middle East and North Africa had the potential to disrupt supplies.

In June, Brent crude oil prices rose 2 per cent, while European coal prices fell by 9 per cent as a result of lower demand, better weather and steady supply.

Irish wholesale electricity prices fell by 4 per cent on the back of a 9 per cent drop in UK wholesale gas costs.