Belgian electricity premium to France disintegrates along the curve


LONDON (CIHI) – The fundamental impact of
coronavirus epidemic is set to rise on the
Belgium gets closer to the power curve of its French
counterpart in the coming weeks.

Uncertainty over new French nuclear production
however, reductions later this year may
the Belgian discount on the far curve goes ahead.


Low energy consumption in the wake of the
pandemic weighed on Belgians and French
the basic charges for the first month during the first half of
In April, fundamentals indicating strong
bearish outlook for the Belgian contract.

Transaction data showed that the month of May in Belgium
The 20’20 base held a premium of € 2.15 / MWh per
French counterpart on April 16. It was 12%
higher than the premium negotiated on April 6,
the first time the base charge of May 20
above in April according to CIHI data.

Belgian prices should remain below
short-term pressure with coronavirus
ready to continue reducing energy consumption

High nuclear availability has aggravated this situation
downward pressure with the inflexible inexpensive
electricity production increases supply margins
that demand profiles flatten out and are relatively
costly thermal production is eliminated.

Evidence of the strong downward impact of the weak
nuclear demand and high availability was
observed on April 13 during a national holiday
in most of north-western Europe, including
Belgium. EPEX SPOT Belgian base load auction
for April 13 delivered at -17.95 € / MWh, sound
first negative price in 2020. In comparison,
French equivalent delivered at -6.51 € / MWh, also
the country’s first negative price in 2020.

“We saw a big downside risk on Belgian prices
over the past weekends which for me
limit any potential expansion of the[forehead[front
month baseload]with France, “said one
power trader.

“The French nuclear fleet is easier to
modulate what is less the case in Belgium –
this is why the risk of extremely low prices is
in Belgium than in France “, added the

Belgian nuclear availability will remain in a
from 87 to 91% in May, according to data from
utility Engie. Meanwhile, French nuclear
availability will remain in the range of 66 to 73%
over the same period, according to data from
French network operator RTE.

Strong Belgian nuclear production in a context of weakness
the image of demand could compress Belgian power
bonus to France even more over the next

The near French curve nevertheless remains
under pressure similar to his Belgian
counterpart. On April 13, France announced that
the current quarantine would be extended until
May 11 as the country seeks to limit its impact
of the pandemic. The lock was originally
must end on April 14. Developments
will keep demand moderate, with
activity limited to next month.

Concerns that the lockout will be extended
even more triggered sales pressure on
French June products.


The fundamental long-term picture suggests a
tightening French margins in the second half
of this year, with the country’s later date
electrical products should differ from their
Belgian counterparts.

Average transaction values ​​show that
Belgian base load for the third quarter 20 held € 0.49 / MWh
delivered to its French counterpart on the 16th
April. The Belgian contract had registered a
€ 0.41 / MWh of premium on February 3, for the first time
the base charge of the T3’20 exchanged in April
CIHI data.

On April 16, the energy giant EDF announced
revisions to its annual French nuclear production
forecasts for the next three years,
following the coronavirus epidemic. In a press
statement he said that “a number of nuclear
reactors may need to be taken offline this
summer and fall to save fuel
these power plants. “

News reinforces the French power curve
in the midst of uncertainty over the depth of production
the cuts would be. Delivery of French electrical products
for the coming winter period recorded strong
gains and cleared this week’s losses in the

“People are simultaneously waiting for a
increased demand due to end of blockages
and lower nuclear production. Right now, this risk
increases because French production is not
guaranteed, “said a power analyst.

However, nuclear supply is limited
concerns in Belgium during the same period. Engie
data show that nuclear availability will have
a range of 72 to 81% in the third quarter.


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