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Nordic First-Quarter Power Prices Rise Fifth Day on Less Rain

Nordic power for the three months from January climbed for a fifth day as weather forecasts indicate lower supplies for hydro-generation in the water-dependent electricity market.

Low pressure areas will dominate this week in Scandinavia, followed by a ridge of high pressure, Danish energy trading company Energi Danmark A/S said in a report on its website. That may result in rainfall equivalent to 0.5 terawatt-hours less than normal for the next 10 days, it said.

The hydrological balance, or the amount of water available for generation compared with the seasonal average, may drop by 32 percent to 7.6 terawatt-hours in the next two weeks, Markedskraft AS data on Bloomberg show.

The next-quarter contract rose as much as 1.1 percent to 41.40 euros ($53.32), the highest since Sept. 18, and traded at 41.24 euros at 3:16 p.m. on Nasdaq OMX Group Inc.’s energy exchange in Oslo.

The contract for 2013 delivery was unchanged at 37.35 euros. The November contract gained 1.6 percent to 38.80 euro.

The Nordic region’s nuclear utilization rate was 75 percent, up 18 percentage points from Sept. 28, data from company websites and calculations by Bloomberg show. The Nordic area gets a fifth of its power from 14 nuclear reactors, and half by running water through turbines, which means that prices are affected by rainfall and reactor generating rates.

Ringhals Reactors

Nordic power for delivery tomorrow sold at 31.76 euros in an auction on the Nord Pool Spot AS exchange in Oslo, 2.4 percent higher than the price yesterday for delivery today.

Vattenfall AB will limit output from its 865-megawatt Ringhals-1 nuclear reactor in Sweden to 100 megawatts until further notice following a turbine problem, the Nordic region’s biggest utility said in a filing to Nord Pool Spot.

The company will operate the 940-megawatt Ringhals-4 reactor at 680 megawatts until further notice, it said in a separate filing.

Nasdaq OMX Commodities experienced technical problems in the morning, with an aggregate volume of 1,148.26 gigawatt-hours having been traded and cleared on the exchange so far today, compared with 4,500.77 gigawatt-hours on Sept. 28, according to the company’s website.

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