Macquarie has received a surprise windfall off the back of freak weather conditions in the US.
Just weeks after it provided an update to the market, Macquarie now expects its financial year 2021 result to be up approximately 5-10 per cent due to cold snap that has left millions without power across the south-western US.
“Extreme winter weather conditions in North America have significantly increased short-term client demand for Macquarie’s capabilities in maintaining critical physical supply across the commodity complex and particularly in relation to gas and power,” Macquarie said in a statement to the ASX.
“Macquarie’s Commodities and Global Markets (CGM) business physically ships gas on the majority of major pipelines across the US and over time has built capacity to support clients by delivering power and physical commodities to help them meet the unexpected needs of their customers.”
The group couched the prediction with the usual qualifying statements, saying it was subject to a “range of uncertainties” including the duration and severity of the COVID-19 Pandemic and the uncertain speed of the economic recovery, but it’s clear that this is a rare case of freak weather working in the favour of a major financial services provider.
Approximately 9.7 million people experienced blackouts across the US and Mexico – the largest in the US in more than 15 years – as natural gas pipelines froze and ice accumulated on power lines and wind turbines. Wholesale electricity prices also soared as high as US$9000 per megawatt hour, while water services were also disrupted for more than 12 million people due to pipes freezing and bursting.
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