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Daily power prices biased lower on soft midweek demand


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Daily power prices biased lower on soft midweek demand

Power prices across major next-day markets leaned mixed to lower Tuesday, June 6, as values mirrored forecasts of subdued Wednesday demand but garnered support from higher spot gas prices.

Following five consecutive sessions of losses, the front-month July natural gas futures contract returned to the positive side of the ledger Tuesday and closed the day up 6.0 cents to return above the key $3/MMBtu level at $3.042/MMBtu. Reflecting gains in futures, spot gas markets also moved higher and provided support to power dailies.

With the unexpected loss of Vistra Energy Corp.'s Comanche Peak 2 in Texas, total U.S. nuclear plant availability fell to 91.53% early June 6.

West dailies move mixed with dueling fundamentals

Daily power packages in the West varied Tuesday owing to outlooks of soft midweek demand and rising spot gas prices.

In California, on-peak power at South Path-15 slipped by less than $1 from Monday and spanned the mid-$30s. In the Northwest, Mid-Columbia trades were up by roughly $5 in the high $20s to low $30s, while power at the California-Oregon Border was flat to Monday in the low to mid-$30s. Losses of $1 to $2 were posted in the Southwest, with Palo Verde transactions changing hands in the high $20s to low $30s while Mead trades were heard in the mid-$30s.

The California ISO projects demand to peak at 32,817 MW on Tuesday and 31,601 MW on Wednesday.

East dailies flounder with demand forecasts

Subdued midweek demand forecasts pulled down power prices in the East on Tuesday, but with higher spot gas prices offering a backdrop to values.

At next-day markets, power at the New England Mass hub eased and ranged in the low $20s while PJM West trades shed around $3 from Monday and were done in the low to mid-$20s.

Soft demand may be in store for both the Northeast and mid-Atlantic. Demand in New England is expected to reach 14,350 MW on Tuesday and 13,860 MW on Wednesday, while load in New York should touch highs of 18,022 MW on Tuesday and 17,446 MW on Wednesday. Demand in the PJM Mid-Atlantic region could crest at 32,309 MW on Tuesday and 30,602 MW on Wednesday, while load in the PJM Western region may top out at 50,735 MW on Tuesday and 47,791 MW by the midweek.

Midwest power markets pressured by conflicting fundamentals

Power packages in the Midwest spent a quiet Tuesday session pressured by higher spot gas prices and outlooks calling for slack midweek demand.

Demand in the PJM AEP region should hit peaks of 16,026 MW and 14,561 MW on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, while load in the PJM ComEd region may near highs of 12,571 MW on Tuesday and 12,393 MW on Wednesday.

Texas dailies supported ahead of midweek

Values at Texas power markets were supported Tuesday by outlooks of elevated midweek demand and an uptick in spot gas prices.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas is calling for load to run up to 57,478 MW on Tuesday and 58,216 MW on Wednesday.

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.