Power dailies could have a mixed showing Wednesday, Aug. 9, as predominantly stronger demand forecasts for the latter part of the workweek run counter to stalled natural gas futures.
Ending with a 2.1-cent gain in the prior session, NYMEX September natural gas futures were straddling either side of unchanged at last look early Wednesday ahead of the closing bell. At 6:35 a.m. ET, the contract was up 0.1 cent to trade near $2.823/MMBtu as the market searches for direction amid overall lackluster fundamentals.
Despite the recent ho hum performance in futures, spot natural gas prices could be inspired to tack on additional gains at midweek, with upside support derived again from regional weather patterns and expectations for rising gas demand.
On the demand side, load outlooks for the latter part of the workweek are mostly aimed higher.
In the Northeast, demand in New England is poised to peak at 18,600 MW on Wednesday and 19,270 MW on Thursday, while load in New York is called to reach 22,411 MW on Wednesday and 23,362 MW in the latter part of the business week. In the Mid-Atlantic, demand in the PJM Western region is seen cresting at 60,032 MW on Wednesday and 61,486 MW on Thursday, while load in PJM Mid-Atlantic is projected to hit highs at 40,399 MW on Wednesday and 42,343 MW on Thursday.
In the Midwest, PJM AEP region load could reach highs at 17,653 MW on Wednesday and 18,247 MW on Thursday, while PJM ComEd demand could top out at 15,358 MW on Wednesday and 15,857 MW in the latter part of the workweek.
In the South, load in Texas is forecast to see highs at 60,672 MW on Wednesday and 64,546 MW on Thursday. In the West, California demand should near 40,250 MW on Wednesday and 40,265 MW on Thursday.
In forward activity, power for September delivery notched gains in much of the country Aug. 8, in tandem with front-month natural gas futures that extended higher on the session to ultimately drive another uptick in fueling costs.
In the East, pricing for month-ahead power climbed by almost 50 cents to near $30 in New England and advanced by about 10 cents to atop $32 at PJM West. Along the forward curve, power values for October similarly ran through the high $20s in New England and through the low $30s at PJM West.
In the Midwest, September power at the PJM markets was quoted at roughly $32 in deals 80 cents softer at the AD hub but up 10 cents at the Northern Illinois hub. A similar offering at MISO Indiana was valued at about $34 in trades approximately 10 cents higher day on day. Power for October delivery was marked in the low to mid-$30s overall.
In the South, losses of about 40 cents took price action for front-month power to indexes at $28 at ERCOT North and atop $32 at ERCOT Houston, as almost 40-cent gains brought prompt-month power pricing to around $30 at ERCOT South and to roughly $28 at ERCOT West. Regional price activity for October power spanned the low $20s to the low $30s.
In the West, both North Path-15 and South Path-15 in California saw power transactions for September add approximately 20 cents to average about $38, while Mid-Columbia September slumped by almost 20 cents against the wider advance to an index near $27. Palo Verde September rose by roughly 10 cents to an index close to $29. Trades for October power were carried out in the mid- to high $30s in California and in the low to high $20s elsewhere in the region.
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.