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US power dailies aimed mostly higher ahead of Christmas

Daily power prices were generally higher Friday, Dec. 22, as traders looked to an anticipated uptick in demand for the start of the holiday-shortened week. Deals were completed in a series of altered packages to accommodate for the closure of the markets for Christmas on Dec. 25.

Slumping 3.9 cents in the previous day, NYMEX January 2018 natural gas futures rebounded Friday, ending the day at $2.667/MMBtu, up 6.9 cents on pre-holiday weekend short covering.

However, next-day natural gas prices at the major U.S. consuming hubs were mixed Friday, as the futures gains ran counter to the inclusion of the lower-load weekend days and the holiday in the trading product for Dec. 23-26 flow.

New England power prices spike; PJM values rise more modestly

Power prices climbed Friday, rallying by more than $30s in New England amid a concurrent spike in regional gas markets.

At the NEPOOL-Mass hub, power for delivery Dec. 25 and 26 rocketed into the low $100s, soaring more than $35 from the day prior. Algonquin spot gas surged more than $6.00/MMBtu to an average atop $17.00/MMBtu.

Power price gains were much more subdued in the mid-Atlantic, where deals at the PJM West hub ran in the mid-$30s, rising $8 to $9 on the session.

Amid an expected downturn in weekend demand, day-ahead market prices for Saturday eased, sliding $18 on average at NEPOOL-Mass to $62.30 and down $1 to $6 on average in New York to $24.05 at Zone A, $34.12 at Zone G and $34.57 at Zone J.

Following the extended holiday, load in New England is expected to top out at 19,100 MW on Dec. 27, up about 1,000 MW from Dec. 26. Demand in New York is anticipated to crest at 22,235 MW on Dec. 27, rising about 1,600 MW from Dec. 26.

In the mid-Atlantic, PJM Western region load is seen reaching highs at 62,100 MW on Dec. 27, jumping more than 2,700 MW from Dec. 26, while PJM Mid-Atlantic region demand is expected to reach about 40,850 MW on Dec. 27, increasing about 850 MW from Dec. 26.

Midwest power prices advance to close out week

In the central U.S., power prices advanced solidly in thin trading Friday. Peak power at the Indiana hub for Dec. 25-26 rose $9 to the mid-$30s.

PJM AEP demand is seen reaching 19,500 MW on Dec. 27, rising 1,200 MW from Dec. 26. Load in the PJM ComEd region near Chicago is likely to crest at 14,200 MW on both Dec. 26 and 27.

Gas at the Chicago market was reported at an average near $2.65/MMBtu, up more than 10 cents.

West Coast power markets shift higher with expected rebound in demand

West Coast power values were higher Friday, amid an anticipated rebound in load after the holiday weekend. To account for market closures Dec. 25, on-peak power was booked Friday for delivery Dec. 26.

Industrial and commercial demand in California should recover after stumbling during the weekend. Demand in the state is likely to slump to 28,400 MW on Saturday, down about 2,000 MW from Friday, before swinging higher by Dec. 26.

In California, heavy-load power parcels at South Path 15 were inked in the low $40s.

Heavy load power at the California-Oregon Border for Dec. 26 delivery was assessed in the low $30s, rising from the high $20s in deals done a day earlier for Dec. 23.

At Mid-Columbia, heavy-load power deals was melded in the high $20s to low $30s, compared to the mid- to high $20s previously.

In the Southwest, heavy-load deals at Palo Verde for Dec. 26 were quoted in the upper $20s to low $30s, with heavy-load business for the same day at Mead seen in the low $30s.

Texas day-ahead power markets falter despite bullish fundamentals

Day-ahead market prices for power in Texas dropped, despite an anticipated increase in post-holiday demand.

ERCOT load is expected to peak at 45,400 MW on Dec. 27, climbing 5,200 MW from Dec. 26 levels.

DAM prices for Saturday came in at $19.80 at ERCOT Houston, $19.99 at ERCOT North, $20.00 at ERCOT West and $21.14 at ERCOT South.

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.