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West Coast power dailies surge ahead of holiday weekend

Next-day power prices were aimed in mixed directions at markets around the United States on Friday, Dec. 30, as traders looked to choppy demand forecasts after the New Year's holiday and ongoing losses for natural gas.

Markets will be closed Monday, Jan. 2, 2017, in observance of the New Year's holiday.

Falling 9.6 cents in the prior session, February 2017 natural gas futures ended Friday at $3.724/MMBtu, down another 7.8 cents on pre-holiday weekend profit-taking and fresh selling.

Ahead of the impending weekend and holiday, next-day gas trades Friday were booked for Jan. 1, 2017, to Jan. 3, 2017, with the inclusion in the product of what are typically the lighter-load days weighing on some market prices.

Most grid operators anticipate a typical drop in business-related load during the New Year's holiday weekend before demand begins to tick up again at the start of the truncated workweek Jan. 3, 2017, with a rebound in industrial and commercial load.

West Coast power prices rally in front of weekend

Most West Coast next-day power markets rallied Friday, with the inclusion of the higher-load weekday in the trading package and gains for regional gas values working to jointly offer upside support.

Deals were completed for Jan. 3 flow, with peak power parcels at South Path 15 in California inked in the mid-$40s to low $50s, increasing about $15 on the session.

In the Northwest, on-peak power at COB and Mid-Columbia was marked in the upper $50s to low $70s, soaring $30 and $35, respectively. On-peak parcels at Palo Verde were reported in the low to mid-$30s, rising $10 from the day before.

At the West Coast gas markets, next-day deals at PG&E Citygate came in at an average near $4.05/MMBtu, up 5 cents. Spot gas at the SoCal Border was priced at almost $3.80/MMBtu, rising more than 15 cents.

Northeast power prices stumble to close month, year

On the opposite coast, following a winter storm that brought blizzard conditions and several feet of snow to parts of New England ahead of the holiday weekend, regional power prices faltered.

At the NEPOOL-Mass hub in New England, peak power deals for Jan. 3 flow ran in the high $40s, down $2 to $3 on the session. Peak power parcels at the PJM West market in the Mid-Atlantic traded in the upper $20s, losing about $5.

New England load is called to peak at 17,250 MW on Tuesday, down 700 MW from Jan. 2. Demand in New York is expected to reach 19,600 MW on Jan. 3, up 200 MW from Jan. 2.

PJM Western region load is likely to crest at 51,700 MW on Jan. 3, rising 2,750 MW from Jan. 2. PJM Mid-Atlantic region load could top out at 33,600 MW on Jan. 3, down 2,400 MW from Jan. 2.

Texas DAM prices climb several dollars with rising load

Day-ahead markets in Texas were poised higher heading into the weekend break, with load expected to rise over the course of the weekend despite the holiday. DAMs gained between $2 and $4 on average Friday, coming in at $27.48 at ERCOT North, $27.49 at ERCOT West, $29.50 at ERCOT South and $27.54 at ERCOT Houston.

Texas demand is expected to reach nearly 40,000 MW on Jan. 2 before falling 2,000 MW to 37,900 MW on Jan. 3.

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, natural gas and coal index prices, as well as futures and forwards, visit our Commodities Pages.