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EUAs continue rise as CERs stall

Published: 06 Jan 2011 18:38 CET Last updated: 06 Jan 2011 18:43 CET

EUAs fell from a 3-week high late on Thursday, but still rose nearly 1 per cent as CERs stagnated.

The ICE ECX December 2011 EUA contract ended at €14.66 on Thursday, down from a session high of €14.74 but still up 13 cents or 0.9 per cent from Wednesday’s settlement price.

The benchmark futures hit new high shortly after 1630 GMT before sliding in the final 30 minutes of trade.

“It was very quiet today ... mostly screen trades done so difficult to say who was buying,” said one trader.

Liquidity on the contract was somewhat poor at 7.1 million units traded, with a total 11.3 million transacted across all vintages on the main six electronic bourses.

Traders said earlier that EUA prices were trailing German power and coal prices higher.

German 2012 baseload power trading on EEX gained €1 to €53.04/MWh, while API2 coal prices for 2012 delivery recovered some of the losses incurred on Wednesday, gaining 2.8 per cent to near $119.70 a tonne.

Open interest on the ICE ECX December 2011 EUA contract rose by 1.15 million to 115.6 million EUAs on Wednesday, indicating some traders may be locking in long positions ahead of an anticipated rally.

“We’re bullish on EUAs but a bit bearish on spot CERs, as no one wants to buy them,” the trader added.

Rising CER supply weighed on prompt prices after the UN issued another 531,000 credits to ten projects on Thursday, bringing the week’s total to 2.63 million across 31 issuances.

The spot CER contract trading on Bluenext lost 16 cents or 1.4 per cent to €11.55, a 35-cent premium to the December 2011 futures, albeit on light volume of 23,000 units traded.

A sharp rise in CER issuances so far this year has caused the spot-December 2011 CER spread to narrow from its 2010 close of 45 cents.

The ICE ECX December 2011 futures contract lost 3 cents to end at €11.20 while the December 2012s rose 9 cents to €11.19.

“There are still more (CER) sellers than buyers ... (and) with the expected issuance this month, the (futures) curve’s backwardation could become notably less steep,” another trader said.

Requests for issuance for a further 47 million CERs are listed on the UNFCCC website for January which, if granted, would see this month smash the previous monthly issuance record of 24.7 million CERs set last November.

The spot EUA-CER spread was pegged at around €2.8, while the December 2011 differential rose to a new three-week high of nearly €3.5 and the 2012 spread approached €4.

CER futures are now down around 1.8 per cent so far in 2011, compared to a 2.9 per cent rise in EUA prices.

By Michael Szabo –

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