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AM Power Report: Dailies could ease with load outlooks

Editor's Note: Please be advised that S&P Global Market Intelligence will no longer publish daily articles on price trends in the U.S. natural gas, electricity and emissions markets beginning June 1, 2018. Pricing data for these energy markets will continue to be available on the Market Intelligence platform.

The price of power dailies could slump Thursday, May 10, in line with mostly retreating demand forecasts for Friday.

Participants will also keep watch of natural gas markets for power price direction. Ending 0.5 cent higher in the midweek session, NYMEX June natural gas futures were lower ahead of the opening bell. At 6:40 a.m. ET, the front-month contract was down 2.0 cents to $2.717/MMBtu on profit taking in front of the 10:30 a.m. ET release of the of weekly storage data.

The market is looking for an average natural gas injection of 89 Bcf for the week ended May 4.

On the demand side, forecasts spell weaker load in much of the country at the close of the workweek, when business-related demand typically wanes approaching the weekend break.

In the Northeast, demand in New England is called to reach 13,900 MW on Thursday and 13,190 MW on Friday while New York load is expected to hit highs at 17,360 MW on Thursday and 16,584 MW at the end of the business week. In the mid-Atlantic, demand in the PJM Western region could top out at 51,324 MW on Thursday and 47,786 MW on Friday while PJM Mid-Atlantic load could see highs at 33,350 MW on Thursday and 30,625 MW on Friday.

In the Midwest, demand in the PJM AEP region is seen touching a high near 16,068 MW on Thursday and 15,044 MW on Friday while PJM ComEd load is expected to peak at 12,191 MW on Thursday and 10,817 MW on Friday.

In the South, load in Texas could crest at 53,921 MW on Thursday and 54,239 MW on Friday, running against the dominant downtrend.

In the West, California demand could reach highs at 29,514 MW on Thursday and 27,389 MW at the close of the workweek, which should add to downside pressure on power prices in the region Thursday as participants book altered partly weekend trading parcels for Friday-Saturday delivery.

In forward activity, June power predominantly notched gains May 9, as an uptick at the natural gas futures arena signaled a boost to fueling costs.

In the East, front-month power trades eased about 10 cents to the high $20s in New England but climbed 30 cents to the low into mid-$30s at PJM West. Farther along the forward curve, transactions for July power were assessed in the high $30s at both hubs.

In the Midwest, an almost 20-cent advance took PJM AD June to the mid-$30s, as a roughly 30-cent increase at PJM Northern Illinois and a 5-cent uptick at MISO Indiana brought June power to the low $30s at both hubs. July power was quoted in the high $30s to the low $40s.

In the South, ERCOT North saw prompt-month power values lifted by around $3 to the low $50s, as hub pricing for July power delivery spanned the mid-$110s.

In the West, price action for June power was unchanged in the low to mid-$10s at Mid-Columbia, but roughly 70 cents stronger in the high $30s at Palo Verde and approximately 50 cents higher in the mid- to upper $30s at South Path-15. Power prices for July were pegged in the high $20s at Mid-Columbia and in the high $40s elsewhere in the region.

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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.