Wholesale gas and electricity prices have started to trade at more normal levels as they continue to fall from the record highs seen earlier this year.

The Bord Gáis Energy index inched 1% lower in June to stand at 136, but the index is still 2% higher than in June of last year.

Bord Gáis power trader John Heffernan said that commodity prices are being driven lower as the market considers the impact of reduced US Federal Reserve support for the world's economy.

He also said that slower economic growth in China and the continuing expansion of the US shale oil revolution is having an impact on prices.

Bord Gáis noted that geopolitical developments, initially in Syria and then in Egypt, were the key influencers on the price of oil last month. It noted that dramatic price dips were seen as the market reacted to news of the US Fed's proposed exit from its programme of quantitative easing.

On gas prices, the index noted that wholesale prices continued to recede from the record levels recorded earlier this year. After hitting record highs in March, warmer summer weather and reduced demand for gas are now seeing downward pressure on day-ahead prices.

European coal prices were down another 9% in June due to warm weather, a lack of demand and healthy supply levels. Bord Gáis said that Europe continues to benefit from ample Colombian supplies which are still attracted to the European market despite the record low prices.

Irish wholesale electricity prices fell 4% in June as the average UK day-ahead wholesale gas price declined by 9% month on month. However, some upward pressure was seen as the volume of electricity produced by wind fell. This meant that expensive fossil fuel plants were called upon to produce power - the system had to incur these extra costs, which fed through to prices.