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Daily power markets close truncated workweek with steady moves

Mixed to higher moves capped off next-day trading action Friday, June 2, with values supported by mostly elevated load forecasts but anchored by sagging spot gas prices.

At the gas futures arena, the front-month July contract remained tethered to the downside and settled below the important $3/MMBtu mark of support at $2.999/MMBtu, down 0.9 cent. Reflecting slack weekend demand, spot gas markets traded a combined three-day product for June 3-5 delivery lower on the session.

Following the return of two reactors, total U.S. nuclear plant availability was at 89.72% early June 2.

Most West markets firm with post-weekend load outlooks

Elevated weekday demand associated with next-day schedule revisions countered soft spot gas prices and kept most power markets in the West higher on Friday.

In the Northwest, heavy-load deals at Mid-Columbia and the California-Oregon Border added more than $5 from Thursday and spanned the high teens to low $20s at the former and the high $20s at the latter. Gains of around $5 were noted in California with on-peak power at South Path-15 changing hands in the mid-$30s.

In the Southwest, Palo Verde transactions eased in the low to mid-$30s while Mead deals added around a dollar in the low to mid-$30s as well.

The California ISO is projecting load to reach 32,567 MW on Friday and 30,814 MW on Saturday. Demand is expected to recover by the start of the fresh workweek on June 5.

East dailies firm with load outlooks

Mixed but slightly higher moves defined price activity in the East on Friday as mostly higher load forecasts offset a downtick in spot gas prices.

In the Northeast, next-day deals were mixed but muted with power at the New England Mass hub easing in the low $20s while little change was noted at New York Zone G, where next-day deals were done in the mid-$20s. In the mid-Atlantic, PJM West trades were up by about $2 and ranged in the high $20s to low $30s.

Trading on lower load Saturday, day-ahead markets tumbled. Losses of more than $10 were noted a New York Zone A, New York Zone G and New York Zone J, where day-ahead power averaged $11.30, $18.44 and $21.39, respectively, while trades at the Mass hub limited the downtick to about $3 and averaged $20.58

Demand in the Northeast is poised to rise at the start of the new workweek. New England load should top out at 13,690 MW on Friday and 14,450 MW on June 5, while demand in New York could run up to 18,323 MW on Friday and 19,185 MW on June 5.

Load outlooks in the mid-Atlantic are mixed. Demand in the PJM Mid-Atlantic region should crest at 33,198 MW on Friday and 34,474 MW on June 5, while load in the PJM Western region may hit peaks of 53,479 MW on Friday and 53,029 MW on June 5.

Midwest markets steady despite mixed demand, declining gas prices

Power packages in the Midwest were firm Friday despite decreasing spot gas prices and little support from mixed load outlooks

On-peak power deals at MISO Indiana saw little change from Thursday and ranged in the mid-$30s.

Demand in Midwest may be off to a mixed start. The PJM AEP region is expected to see highs of 16,305 MW on Friday and 16,968 MW on June 5, while load in the PJM ComEd region should near peaks of 13,888 MW on Friday and 12,217 MW on June 5.

Slack fundamentals fail to pull down Texas prices

Subdued Saturday demand forecasts and drooping spot gas prices failed to pull down day-ahead markets in Texas on Friday.

Despite slack weekend demand, day-ahead deals at ERCOT Houston, ERCOT North, ERCOT South and ERCOT West rose $2 to $4 from Thursday and averaged $36.59, $28.64, $32.30 and $29.53, respectively.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas expects load to touch highs of 53,947 MW on Friday and 56,680 MW on June 5.

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.