(Bloomberg) -- French year-ahead power slumped to a nine-month low, widening the gap with German prices to a record.

Weak demand and strong nuclear output in France have dragged down prices for 2025 by about 28% this year. In Germany, the equivalent contract has slipped just 5% as its shift away from nuclear increases reliance on costlier gas- and coal-fired power, while renewables have been curbed by still, cloudy days. 

The difference between the two contracts is now as much as €25 a megawatt-hour.

“The positive outlook for nuclear and the fact that power demand is struggling to recover are the main bearish factors” in France, said Luca Urbanucci, an analyst at ICIS. German prices are following gas and coal, which are expected to be about 10% to 15% higher in 2025, he said.

Power contracts have been retreating on ample gas reserves and muted demand, though the European markets most reliant on gas remain vulnerable to sudden disruptions amid heightened geopolitical risk and unplanned outages. The weather will also weigh heavily on the direction of prices early next year.

Maintenance and unscheduled shutdowns in France cut electricity exports to Germany and other neighbors earlier this spring, pushing up day-ahead prices. The grid operator has warned similar constraints could return in August, but Urbanucci said they won’t necessarily be repeated next year.

French electricity for delivery next year declined 1.62% to €66.00 a megawatt-hour. The corresponding German contract rose 0.629% to €91.15. 

--With assistance from Lars Paulsson.

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