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AM Power Report: Prices could run mixed ahead of holiday

Day-ahead power prices could see a mixed session of trade Friday, Dec. 22, as deals are completed in altered packages to accommodate for the closure of the markets Monday, Dec. 25.

Losing 3.9 cents in the previous day, NYMEX January 2018 natural gas futures were moving slightly higher early Friday ahead of the opening bell, tacking on 1.4 cents to $2.612/MMBtu at 7:15 a.m. ET on pre-Christmas weekend short covering.

However, alongside the recent weakness in futures and the inclusion of the lower-load weekend days and the holiday in the trading product, next-day natural gas prices at the major U.S. consuming hubs are likely to lose ground in many cases, offering little upside traction for power values.

In terms of load, New England demand is called to peak at 18,000 MW on Friday, 16,100 MW on Dec. 25 and 18,100 MW on Dec. 26. New York load is seen cresting at 21,000 MW on Friday, 18,100 MW on Dec. 25 and 21,200 MW on Dec. 26.

In the Mid-Atlantic's PJM Western region, load is could top out at 50,700 MW on Friday, 49,750 MW on Dec. 25 and 60,550 MW on Dec. 26. PJM Mid-Atlantic region demand could come in at highs around 35,300 MW on Friday, 33,100 MW on Dec. 25 and 40,200 MW on Dec. 26.

In the Midwest, PJM AEP region load is anticipated to peak at 15,700 MW on Friday 16,000 MW on Dec. 25 and 18,700 MW on Dec. 26. Demand at PJM ComEd near Chicago is likely to hit 11,900 MW on Friday, 11,300 MW on Dec. 25 and 14,200 MW on Dec. 26.

Load in Texas is anticipated to peak near 43,400 MW on Friday, 44,300 MW on Dec, 25 and 41,900 MW on Dec. 26. California demand is seen reaching 30,660 MW on Friday and 28,400 MW on Saturday.

At the forward power markets, January 2018 power prices eased at most locations Dec. 21, as the ongoing decline in futures signaled weaker fueling costs for U.S. power generators.

In the Northeast, January 2018 power deals in New England ran in the low $70s, while parcels for the month at New York's Zone G traded in the low $50s. In the Mid-Atlantic, business for January 2018 at PJM West was assessed in the low $40s.

In the Midwest, January 2018 power packages at Northern Illinois were melded in the low $30s, with deals for the month at the PJM AEP-Dayton hubs reported in the mid-$30s.

At the ERCOT North hub in Texas, power for January 2018 and first quarter 2018 deals were eyed in the mid-$20s.

In California, January 2018 deals at South Path-15 were inked in the upper $30s, with first quarter 2018 packages seen in the mid-$30s. January 2018 power at Mid-Columbia and Palo Verde ran in the high $20s.

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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.