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EUROPE POWER-Spot prices rise as German wind ebbs, curve at six-month low

Day-ahead power prices rose in the European wholesale electricity market on Tuesday as wind output in main producer country Germany was due to fall by a third, offsetting the bearish impact of higher thermal generation and easing demand.

German Wednesday delivery baseload was at 204 euros ($216.87) a megawatt hour (MWh) at 1100 GMT, up 9.7% and the equivalent French contract traded at 208 euros, up 6.7%.

Refinitiv Eikon data showed that German wind power volumes are likely to be 19.7 gigawatts (GW) on Wednesday, down from 30.7 GW on Tuesday.

In nuclear supply, French reactor availability remained at 68% of available capacity.

The risk to French power supply from the start of January through the rest of winter has been reduced to medium, following an increase in nuclear and hydropower availability and lower consumer demand, French grid operator RTE said.

Milder weather helped to also reduce use across the region and consumption is in any case beginning to fall ahead of the holiday season.

Power demand in Germany is seen down by 900 megawatts on Wednesday at 58.6 GW, while in France the level is expected to drop by 3.7 GW to 56.1 GW.

The German met office DWD said hydro electric supply will be boosted by wet weather and wind turbine output will remain relatively high over the coming days.

Key power curve contracts set their lowest levels in six months.

German baseload for 2023, Europe’s futures benchmark, was 2.6% down at 283 euros, the lowest since June 29.

The same French position was untraded after closing at 331 euros,, the lowest since June 28.

European Union nations’ energy ministers agreed a gas price cap that can be triggered from Feb. 15 at 180 euros/MWh. It will not initially apply to over-the-counter trades.

German utility industry group BDEW detailed a drop in gas consumption this year for the country as part of annual data.

($1 = 0.9406 euros) (Reporting by Vera Eckert Editing by David Goodman and Barbara Lewis)

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