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AM Power Report: Dailies could open week jumbled amid diverging demand, fluctuating gas

activity for day-aheadpower delivery could be choppy to higher in the week's opening session Monday,April 4, as mixed but generally stronger demand outlooks combine with recentvolatility in front-month natural gas futures trading.

Afterending just 0.3 centlower in the prior session, May natural gas futureswere trending higher early Monday ahead of the opening bell, moving near$1.985/MMBtu, up 2.9 cents.

Any sustained gains in the futures arena Monday could drivenext-day gas market prices higher at many hubs, which would offer upsidetraction for many power values as well in the opening session of the fresh week.

Interms of demand, forecasts suggest regional variation in load levels as the newworkweek unfolds.

Inthe Northeast, weaker load is in store, as demand in New England is poised tohit a high at 16,800 MW on Monday and 16,500 MW on Tuesday, while New York loadshould near 19,191 MW at the start of the fresh workweek and 19,044 MW onTuesday. To the south, forecasts suggest rising demand, as PJM Western regiondemand is projected to crest at 49,047 MW on Monday and 51,951 MW on Tuesday,while load in PJM Mid-Atlantic is seen peaking at 32,234 MW on Monday and34,654 MW on Tuesday.

Inthe Midwest, demand outlooks are aimed higher, as PJM AEP region load is calledto reach 15,133 MW on Monday and 16,955 MW on Tuesday, while demand in PJMComEd is expected to peak at 11,497 MW at the start of the new business weekand 11,629 MW on Tuesday.

Elsewhere,ERCOT demand in the South is seen declining as it is projected to top out at38,564 MW on Monday and 38,285 MW on Tuesday, while CAISO load in the Westcould see highs at 28,573 MW on Monday and 29,716 MW on Tuesday.

Inforward activity, power for May delivery pulled into the role of thefront-month offering with a mixed but predominantly weak showing ahead of theweekend, in line with May natural gas futures that seesawed in trading beforeultimately ending with a downside bias that implied cheaper fueling costs.

Inthe East, pricing for May power deflated by more than 80 cents to atop $32 atNEPOOL-Mass and eased by about 10 cents to above $34 at PJM West, as powervalues for June ran through the mid-$30s in New England and through the high$30s at PJM West.

Inthe Midwest, power parcels for May shed more than 20 cents in deals assessed atnear $32 at PJM AD and gave back almost 10 cents in transactions done at above$28 at PJM Northern Illinois, while similar products at MISO Indiana picked uproughly 40 cents in trades carried out at about $29. Power for June deliveryacross the three hubs was likewise marked in the high $20s to the low $30s.

Inthe South, trading action for May power was lifted by nearly $1 to above $26 atERCOT Houston and boosted by a little more than 40 cents to indexes spreadbetween $23 and $25 at the rest of the ERCOT markets, as power deals fordelivery further out to June spanned the high $20s overall.

Inthe West, power values for May in California faltered by roughly 40 cents tonear $22 at North Path-15 and slid by about 20 cents to atop $19 at SouthPath-15, as front-month power prices fell by almost 80 cents to around $10 atMid-Columbia and recoiled by nearly 30 cents to $17 at Palo Verde. Along theforward curve, price action for June power was pegged in the low $10s atMid-Columbia and in the low $20s elsewhere in the region.

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Marketprices and included industry data are current as of the time of publication andare subject to change. For more detailed market data, including power andnatural gasindex prices, as well as forwards and futures, visitour Commodities Pages.