Global energy supplies have become a scarce commodity. The competition for safe and affordable energy has moved from inside the borders of national markets - partly out onto the European market place, partly onto the global one. The “thirst” for energy of upcoming industrial nations in South-East Asia and dwindling resources in Europe make the issue even more pressing.
Nowadays, practically no country can cover its energy needs from its own sources. Next to long-term contracts with energy exporters and investments in developing regions, the significance of energy trading has grown immensely. And not just as a “source of supply” but also as an opportunity to protect against risks, for example from supply shortages or price fluctuations.
Together, supply and demand are the determining factors for the market. We derive information from the resulting market price and the price governs the allocation of resources. This means that the market prices ensure an efficient use of scarce resources or that the party that needs a commodity most urgently pays the highest price for it (allocation of resources).