Term electricity markets around the U.S. were pointed in different directions during the holiday-truncated workweek ended Feb. 23 as values found little support from modestly higher fueling costs and moderating weather.
In natural gas futures trading, the workweek after Presidents Day began Feb. 20 with the front-month March contract posting a 5.8-cent gain to rise to $2.616/MMBtu amid sentiment of oversold conditions. Technical buying provided another boost to front-month gas Feb. 21 as the contract added another 4.3 cents to climb to $2.659/MMBtu.
However, despite reports of a larger-than-expected 124-Bcf net withdrawal during the week ended Feb. 16, the March contract retreated Feb. 22 to $2.634/MMBtu, down 2.5 cents, as profit taking and selling took hold of the market. March gas remained tethered to the downside Feb. 23 as the contract slipped by 0.9 cent and exited the review week at $2.625/MMBtu with options expiring the same day. Yet even with the lower close, the March contract still added 0.9 cent during the review week spanning Feb. 20-23.
At wholesale electricity markets, the scant increase in fueling costs alongside deflated demand implied by weather outlooks gave little support to power prices.
Reflecting the movement in gas futures were prompt-month deals in Palo Verde, which were done at $23.73 on Feb. 20 and $24.49 on Feb. 23, up 76 cents.
Trade activity at other markets in the West was muted. March packages at Mid-Columbia saw little change during the week with power prices starting that week at $18.50 on Feb. 20 and also ending at $18.50 on Feb. 23 while prompt-month packages at South Path-15 were 35 cents higher over the period and changed hands at $30.17 on Feb. 20 and $30.52 on Feb. 23.
At ERCOT North, March power rose by 35 cents with deals assessed at $27.07 on Feb. 20 and $27.42 on Feb. 23.
Flat to ultimately higher moves were noted in the central U.S. MISO Indiana March was exchanged at $32.05 on Feb. 20 and $33.54 on Feb. 23, adding $1.49 for the week. PJM Northern Illinois saw prompt-month power transacted 39 cents higher with packages quoted at $28.21 on Feb. 20 and $28.59 on Feb. 23. Conversely, PJM AEP-Dayton hub priced March power at $33.38 on Feb. 20 and $31.65 on Feb. 23, down $1.73 for the period. '
Hubs in the Northeast were biased lower despite a modest boost in fueling costs. The New England Mass hub saw March power trade at $38.21 on Feb. 20 and $34.80 on Feb. 23, down $3.41 for the week. New York Zone G March shed $1.11 throughout the period and was valued at $35.46 on Feb. 20 and $34.36 on Feb. 23. PJM West March deals managed to limit losses to 83 cents with power changing hands at $34.25 on Feb. 20 and $33.42 on Feb. 23.
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.