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US daily power markets swept lower as weekend draws near

Most next-day power values across the country turned lower Thursday, April 6, owing to pressures from mixed to lower load forecasts and biased lower spot gas prices.

After reversing gains in early trade, the front-month May natural gas futures contract rebounded Thursday as it closed the session up 6.5 cents at $3.331/MMBtu. Contributing to the upswing were reports of a 2-Bcf net injection during the week ended March 31, which was a downside miss from consensus estimates. In spot gas trading, deals for Friday delivery moved mixed to lower on the session.

Looking at the supply of nuclear generation, increased production at several reactors boosted total plant availability to 80.03% early April 6.

Conflicting fundamentals leave East dailies mixed

Next-day power prices in the East diverged Thursday amid calls for mostly subdued Friday demand and support from higher spot gas prices.

At next-day markets, NEPOOL-Mass trades eased by less than a dollar and were done in the high $30s while PJM West trades added around $2 and were noted in the mid- to high $30s.

Day-ahead markets also moved lower as NEPOOL-Mass, New York Zone G and New York Zone J slipped $3 to $4 from midweek and averaged $40.06, $39.05 and $39.85, respectively, while New York Zone A deals added roughly $3 and averaged $29.18.

Demand in the Northeast is expected to fall with New England load projected to top out at 15,750 MW on Thursday and 14,250 MW on Friday, while demand in New York could near peaks of 18,038 MW on Thursday and 17,633 MW on Friday.

In the mid-Atlantic, demand in the PJM Mid-Atlantic region should crest at 31,825 MW on Thursday and 30,972 MW on Friday, while load in the PJM Western region may peak at 48,930 MW on Thursday and 50,494 MW on Friday.

Midwest values ease with mixed demand, lower gas prices

Power packages in the Midwest moved flat to lower Thursday with little support from varied demand forecasts and lower spot gas prices.

MISO Indiana trades were down less than $1 and ranged in the low to mid-$30s.

The PJM AEP region is expected to see highs of 15,085 MW on Thursday and 15,924 MW on Friday, while load in the PJM ComEd region is called to hit 11,618 MW on Thursday and 11,426 MW on Friday.

Texas dailies slip despite demand support

Power prices in Texas took a few steps back Thursday as markets ignored calls of slightly higher Friday demand and mixed spot gas prices.

Next-day power at ERCOT North traded more than $3 lower than Wednesday with deals done in the low $20s.

Day-ahead power deals also slumped. DAMs at ERCOT North and ERCOT West slipped by $5 to $7 from Wednesday and averaged $20.94 and $19.12, respectively, while ERCOT South trades shed roughly a dollar and averaged $29.41. On the other hand, DAMs at ERCOT Houston gained around $4 and averaged $37.98.

Demand in ERCOT should reach highs of 39,805 MW on Thursday and 40,181 MW on Friday.

West dailies fall in revised trade

Power prices in the West, especially those in the Northwest, fell Thursday as weak weekend demand associated with next-day schedule revisions combined with lower spot gas prices to depress values.

In the Northwest, power deals at Mid-Columbia and COB fell more than $10 on the session and ranged in the single digits to the negatives at the former and the single digits at the latter. In California, heavy-load trades at South Path-15 lost more than $5 from Wednesday and bordered the low $20s. In the Southwest, losses of about $2 were noted at Palo Verde and Mead with power exchanged in the low to high $20s and mid-$20s, respectively.

Load in California may touch highs of 28,023 MW on Thursday and 27,085 MW on Friday.

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, natural gas and coal index prices, as well as forwards and futures, visit our Commodities pages.