Commodity market risks
Commodity market risk refers to the potential negative effects of market price movements or volume changes in electricity, fuels and environmental values. A number of different methods, such as Profit-at-Risk and Value-at-Risk, are used throughout the Group to quantify these risks and to take into account their interdependencies. Stress-testing is carried out in order to assess the effects of extreme price movements on Fortum's earnings.
Fortum hedges its exposure to commodity market risks in accordance with the Hedging Guidelines. Risk taking is limited by risk mandates, including volumetric limits, Profit-at-Risk limits and stop-loss limits. The Profit-at-Risk measure in the form of Group minimum EBITDA is monitored by management to ensure that Fortum can deliver on its financial commitments without weakening its financial position. The development of minimum EBITDA is monitored in quarterly meetings and in monthly reporting.
All products and marketplaces used for hedging and trading are approved by the CRO.
For further information on hedge ratios, exposures, sensitivities and outstanding derivatives contracts, see Note 3 Financial risk management.
Risk Management in Fortum's Performance Management
Electricity price and volume risks
Fortum is exposed to electricity market price movements and volume changes mainly through its power generation and customer sales businesses. In competitive markets, such as in the Nordic region, the price is determined as the balance between supply and demand. The short-term factors affecting electricity prices on the Nordic market include hydrological conditions, temperature, CO2 allowance prices, fuel prices, and the import/export situation.
In the Nordic business, power and heat generation, customer sales and electricity distribution volumes are subject to changes in, for example, hydrological conditions and temperature. Uncertainty in nuclear production due to prolonged maintenance or delays in upgrades, especially in co-owned plants in Sweden, has also increased in recent years.
Electricity price and volume risks are hedged by entering into electricity derivatives contracts, primarily on the Nordic power exchange, Nasdaq Commodities (Nord Pool). The objective of hedging is to reduce the effect of electricity price volatility on earnings and cash flows, and to secure a minimum level of cash flow, which ensures that financial commitments can be met. Hedging strategies cover several years in the short to medium term and are executed by the trading unit within set mandates. These hedging strategies are continuously evaluated as electricity and other commodity market prices, the hydrological balance and other relevant parameters change.
In Russia, electricity prices and capacity sales are the main sources of market risk. Market deregulation has developed as planned and the electricity price is highly correlated with the gas price. Hedges are mainly done through regulated bilateral agreements, but the financial market is developing and
Fortum is utilising the possibilities in these markets to further mitigate electricity price risks.
Emission and environmental value risks
The European Union has established an emissions trading scheme to reduce the amount of CO2 emissions. The CO2 emissions trading scheme enhances the integration of the Nordic market with the rest of Europe. In addition to the emissions trading scheme, there are other trading schemes in environmental values in place in Sweden, Norway and Poland. There is currently no trading scheme in Russia for emissions or other environmental values. The main factor influencing the prices of CO2 allowances and other environmental values is the supply and demand balance.
Part of Fortum's power and heat generation is subject to requirements of these schemes. Fortum manages
its exposure to these prices and volumes through the use of derivatives, such as CO2 forwards, and by ensuring that the costs of allowances are taken into account during production planning.
Fuel price and volume risks
Heat and power generation requires the use of fuels that are purchased on global or local markets. The main fuels used by Fortum are uranium, coal, natural gas, peat, oil, and various biomass-based fuels such as wood pellets.
For fuels that are traded on global markets such as coal and oil, the uncertainty in price is the main factor. Prices are largely affected by demand and supply imbalances that can be caused by, for example, increased demand growth in developing countries, natural disasters or supply constraints in countries experiencing political or social unrest. The main
fuel source for heat and power generation in Russia is natural gas. Natural gas prices are partially regulated, so the exposure is limited. For fuels traded on local markets, such as bio-fuels, the volume risk in terms of access to the raw material of appropriate quality is more significant as there may be a limited number of suppliers. Due to the sanctions and economic development in Russia, the risks related to imported fuels from Russia have been increased.
Exposure to fuel prices is limited to some extent because of Fortum's flexible generation possibilities that allow for switching between different fuels according to prevailing market conditions and, in some cases, the fuel price risk can be transferred to the customer. The remaining exposure to fuel price risk is mitigated through fixed-price purchases that cover forecasted consumption levels. Fixed-price purchases can be either for physical deliveries or in the form of financial hedges.