The main index continued its fall this month, as did both the FPVV and CFD indexes.
The traded volumes in the indexes were relatively low again this month, perhaps as a result of lockdowns, but this may be pure coincidence.
August was hugely volatile, what with record demand being set, outages on the 9th, followed by lockdown from the 18th, but September's been relatively benign due to the lower demand brought by lockdown and healthy storage. Speaking of which, NZ storage is now above the 95th percentile level for this time of year, and even Lake Taupo is close to average for this time of year.
During lockdown this year, demand did not fall as much as it did last year,and now that virtually all of the country is at Level 2 or 3, demand will return to almost normal levels. Given the recent new record demand peak, we believe this confirms the fact that demand isstartingto growat a higherratedue to several factors, including the high rate of construction of new dwellings andstrong economic growth.
Highlake levels and lower demand over summer will tend to mask the impact of rising demand, even once the whole country is back to Level 2 or below. But if the lake levels fall, and when winter demand returns next April, we could wellseea returnto higherprices - as we did going into this winter. The reality is that it will just take time to restore gas supplies to what they were prior to the Pohokura field starting its production decline back in May of last year.