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AM Power Report: Dailies could advance in truncated week's opener

Power prices at the daily markets could climb coming off the long Christmas holiday weekend on Tuesday, Dec. 27, as prospects for generally rising demand as the truncated workweek unfolds combine with ongoing gains at the natural gas futures arena.

At last glance, January 2017 natural gas futures were trading 7.7 cents higher at $3.739/MMBtu.

On the demand side, outlooks suggest predominantly stronger load as the holiday-shortened workweek unfolds.

In the Northeast, demand in New England is expected to crest at 17,000 MW on Tuesday and 17,500 MW on Wednesday, while load in New York is projected to reach highs at 21,154 MW on Tuesday and 21,254 MW on Wednesday. Farther south, PJM Western region load is seen peaking at 52,773 MW on Tuesday and 54,519 MW on Wednesday, while PJM Mid-Atlantic demand should near 34,449 MW on Tuesday and 37,352 MW on Wednesday.

In the Midwest, demand in the PJM AEP region is called to reach 15,952 MW on Tuesday and 16,447 MW on Wednesday, while load in PJM ComEd is poised to defy the dominant uptrend as it is forecast to see highs at 13,235 MW on Tuesday and 12,894 MW on Wednesday.

In the South, ERCOT demand could touch a high near 39,665 MW on Tuesday and 41,152 MW on Wednesday.

In the West, CAISO load could top out at 29,906 MW on Tuesday and 29,125 MW on Wednesday, also running against the wider uptick.

In term activity, the price of power for January 2017 delivery was biased higher overall ahead of the long Christmas holiday weekend, in line with front-month natural gas futures that notched gains on the session implying an uptick in fueling costs.

In the East, trades for January 2017 power were lifted more than $3 to an index atop $85 at NEPOOL-Mass and boosted by nearly $2 to an average at roughly $53 at PJM West, while power deals for delivery further out to February 2017 were assessed in the high $80s in New England and also in the low $50s at PJM West.

In the Midwest, gains on either side of $2 took price action for month-ahead power to indexes above $45 at PJM Northern Illinois and atop $47 at both PJM AD and MISO Indiana, while power values for February 2017 across the three hubs spanned the low to high $40s.

In the South, the prompt-month power offering at the ERCOT markets tacked on nearly $2 across the board in deals carried out from about $33 to as much as $35. Looking ahead, power products for February 2017 across the region were transacted in the low $30s.

In the West, California saw power values for January 2017 add over $1 to average above $41 at North Path-15 and near $39 at South Path-15, while Mid-Columbia and Palo Verde saw front-month power pricing also advance by more than $1 to indexes at roughly $33 and $31, respectively. Further out, price activity for February 2017 power was pegged in the high $30s in California and the high $20s elsewhere in the region.

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Market prices and included industry data are current as of the time of publication and are subject to change. For more detailed market data, including power and natural gas index prices, as well as forwards and futures, visit our Commodities Pages.