Wholesale markets quarterly - Q1 2020

Quarterly report
Release date: 
18 May 2020


The AER's monitoring, regulation and enforcement roles will help deliver affordable and reliable energy for Australian consumers. Our quarterly report bridges the gap between our short term and long term performance reports, allowing us to identify significant trends in the electricity and gas markets, and independently evaluate market developments as they emerge.

Key findings


  • Q1 average prices were below $110 per MWh in all regions for the first time since 2015.
  • A generally mild summer, and more rooftop solar led to lower demand this quarter.
  • Spot prices for fuel inputs for gas and coal generators were lower, which was reflected in lower priced offers.
  • The market continued to operate well under extreme conditions.
  • COVID-19 does not yet appear to have had an impact on demand, however we will continue to monitor its effect.


  • Prices in all markets were at their lowest levels since Q1 2016.
  • International oil and spot gas prices have fallen to record lows.
  • Queensland production remains high as Victorian production declines.
  • Record pipeline capacity won on the Day Ahead Auction following South Australia's isolation from the NEM on 31 January 2020.
  • We anticipate seeing the broader impact of COVID-19 on the eastern Australia gas markets more clearly in the coming quarters.