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German 2014 Power Falls as Low Demand Reduces Near-Term Prices

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Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- German power for 2014 fell to a record as mild weather and weak holiday-season demand resulted in negative short-term prices, pushing down longer contracts. The 2013 contract gained before its Dec. 31 expiration.

The benchmark year-ahead baseload contract rose 15 cents to 44.15 euros ($58.38) a megawatt-hour, broker data compiled by Bloomberg show. The more-actively traded contract for 2014 fell 0.4 percent to 45.40 euros as of 5:20 p.m. Berlin time, a record for the 2014 contract and the lowest price for the second-year contract since March 2009. Baseload power is delivered around the clock.

Prices for power to be delivered Dec. 31 fell as low as minus 18 euros a megawatt-hour, as above-average temperatures and high generation from wind turbines curbed demand for power from plants fired by fossil-fuels.

In Frankfurt, the maximum temperature for Sunday is forecast at 7 degrees Celsius (45 Fahrenheit), compared with the 10-year seasonal average of 1 degree. Wind output in Germany is predicted to rise to more than 15 gigawatts in the next two days from less than 5 gigawatts today, according to the website of Meteologica SA, a Madrid-based weather forecaster.

Some generators have taken their thermal units offline to account for the priority access of wind power granted by the German government. Others have left theirs running as older units incur costs when they are switched off and it’s cheaper to accept negative prices for several hours or even days than to shut down plants.

In France, prices for Dec. 31 peakload power, to be delivered from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., dropped to a record. The price slid as much as 42 percent to 9 euros a megawatt-hour, the lowest since Bloomberg started compiling broker data in September 2007.

Nordic power for 2014 delivery fell as much as 0.3 percent to 37.50 euros a megawatt-hour while the first-quarter 2013 contract gained 0.9 percent to 40.35 euros as of 5:20 p.m. local time on Nasdaq OMX Group Inc.’s energy exchange in Oslo.

To contact the reporter on this story: Julia Mengewein in Frankfurt at jmengewein@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lars Paulsson at lpaulsson@bloomberg.net

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