The upwards momentum in New Zealand’s carbon market came to a halt this week, with spot NZUs closing at NZ$6.47, up 2 NZ cents on last Friday as emitters turned their attention to the Mar. 31 deadline for annual emission reports.
NZUs traded up to NZ$6.55 on Thursday, but came back down on Friday as buying interest drifted off.
Traders said there is still good demand in the market at current price levels, but few are interested in pushing prices up further at the moment as they still have the opportunity to meet their 2014 obligations using UN offsets.
Emitters must report their 2014 emissions to the government by Mar. 31 and surrender permits by May 31.
“It takes some of the buyers time to adjust to a rising market after such a long period of low prices,” one broker said.
The market briefly touched NZ$6.40 in late December, but before that hadn’t seen NZ$6.40-6.50 since June 2012.
Some said the price was underpinned by local media reports that the planned 2015 review of the ETS might be postponed until next year, to allow reviewers to assess the outcome of the December Paris talks.
The review is expected to address several issues crucial to NZU demand, but the government has yet to decide the scope of the review.
“Any news on when the review may happen will shape prices going forward,” one trader said.
A spokesman for Climate Change Minister Tim Groser told Carbon Pulse earlier this month the review would start in late 2015.
By Stian Reklev – email@example.com