Continental European day-ahead power prices rose more than 7% month-on-month in August as reduced nuclear power generation operations in France and Belgium continued to tighten supply for the region, according to Platts, a leading global provider of energy, petrochemicals and metals information.

"Near-term market concerns about nuclear power supply were apparent in the spot and front month contracts," said Andreas Franke, Platts European power editor. "However, a longer market view reveals that oversupply and weak demand are keeping prices below 2011 levels, with Belgian month-ahead power down 9% year-on-year and that of Germany down 14%."

The average cost of day-ahead power in Continental Europe as indicated by Platts Conti Index* was €48.87 per megawatt hour (/MWh) in August 2012 compared to €45.55/MWh in July 2012. Year-on-year, the August average is up 3%.

U.K. prices moved the opposite direction during August, according to the latest Platts price assessments. Day-ahead power prices were down 4% month-on-month, and down 13% year-on-year. While interconnected with France, the U.K. power market is less sensitive to French nuclear outages because of its own ample supply position during a period of weak demand.

Meanwhile continental natural gas prices dipped in August but rose versus a year ago. Platts price assessments show the average cost of day-ahead natural gas at continental Europe's most liquid hub, the Dutch TTF, was down one percent to €24.05/MWh in August. This compares to €24.34/MWh in July and was up 10% from August 2011.

The price decline for day-ahead natural gas in the U.K. was slightly greater than that of Europe, down four percent to 54.56 pence per therm (pence/therm) from July's 55.63 pence/therm.

Platts Continental Europe and U.K. Day-Ahead Monthly Averages

Aug-12Jul-12Jun-12Aug-11
CONTI power (Euro/MWh)48.8745.5543.1547.37
TTF gas (Euro/MWh)24.0524.3423.8321.82
U.K. Power (GBP/MWh)40.9342.8442.1246.93
U.K. Gas (pence/therm)54.5655.6355.1754.11

NOTES: All figures are monthly averages of daily day-ahead contract prices as assessed by Platts.

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*Platts Continental Power (CONTI) Index is a demand-weighted baseload average of day-ahead contracts assessed in Germany, Switzerland, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. The index reflects prices as determined between buyer and seller in the open market. The Platts U.K. assessments reflect day-ahead contracts assessed for firm delivery of power on the high voltage network of England, Wales and Scotland, and at the National Balancing Point for gas.

For more information on electric power or the methodology used by Platts in its power assessments, visit the Platts website www.platts.com.

About Platts: Founded in 1909, Platts is a leading global provider of energy, petrochemicals and metals information and a premier source of benchmark prices for the physical and futures markets. Platts' news, pricing, analytics, commentary and conferences help customers make better-informed trading and business decisions and help the markets operate with greater transparency and efficiency. Customers in more than 150 countries benefit from Platts' coverage of the carbon emissions, coal, electricity, oil, natural gas, metals, nuclear power, petrochemical, and shipping markets.  A division of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP), Platts is headquartered in New York with approximately 900 employees in more than 15 offices worldwide. Additional information is available at http://www.platts.com.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies: McGraw-Hill announced on September 12, 2011, its intention to separate into two public companies: McGraw-Hill Financial, a leading provider of content and analytics to global financial markets, and McGraw-Hill Education, a leading education company focused on digital learning and education services worldwide. McGraw-Hill Financial's leading brands include Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Indices, Platts energy information services and J.D. Power and Associates. With sales of $6.2 billion in 2011, the Corporation has approximately 23,000 employees across more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/.

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