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AM Power Report: Dailies could move mostly lower at midweek

Mostnext-day power markets around the United States could see slightlysofter moves in the midweek session Wednesday, March 30, as traders look togenerally weaker demand outlooks.

However,traders will also keep an eye on recent moves in the natural gas arena. TheApril gas futures contract rolled off the board as the front month with a 5.5-centgain March 29, with the May contract edging slightly higher early Wednesdayahead of the opening bell. At last glance, the new front-month May contract wasup just 0.8 cent to trade near $1.989/MMBtu Wednesday.

Day-aheadnatural gas prices at major consuming hubs could see slightly higher moves insome cases Wednesday, in tandem with any sustained gains for the futures marketat midweek.

Inthe Northeast, demand in New England is poised to peak at 15,200 MW onWednesday and 14,820 MW on Thursday, while load in New York is called to reach18,267 MW on Wednesday and 17,703 MW on Thursday. To the south,load in the Mid-Atlantic region is seen topping out at 30,841 MW on Wednesdayand 29,897 MW on Thursday, while demand in the PJM Western region is likely to peakat 48,658 MW on Wednesday and 45,368 MW on Thursday.

Inthe Midwest, demand in the AEP region is likely to reach 16,286 MW on Wednesdayand about 14,400 MW on Thursday. Load in the ComEd region near Chicago isanticipated to top out at 10,993 MW on Wednesday and 10,900 MW on Thursday.

InTexas, electricity demand is seen reaching 40,821 MW on Wednesday and 41,110 MWon Thursday. Load in California is expected to hit highs at 27,716 MW onWednesday and 27,926 MW on Thursday.

Interm activity, the price of power for April delivery advanced across the bulkof the country March 29, in line with April natural gas futures that rolled offthe board at the settle on the upside to ultimately signal a boost in fuelingcosts.

Inthe East, front-month power packages tacked on more than $1 at NEPOOL-Mass andadded 70 cents at PJM West in deals carried out on either side of $32, trailinghub activity for May power delivery by more than $1 in New England and by over$2 at PJM West.

Inthe Midwest, pricing for April power rose by nearly 90 cents to almost $30 atPJM AD and ascended by more than $1 to roughly $28 at PJM Northern Illinois, asprompt-month prices at MISO Indiana climbed by around 60 cents to an indexapproaching equal value with PJM Northern Illinois April action. Power pricesfor May at the three hubs likewise spanned the high $20s to the low $30s.

Inthe South, the ERCOT markets saw power deals for April lifted by more than $1across the board to indexes spread from roughly $24 to $27, a range shared withregional trading activity for May power.

Inthe West, California saw month-ahead power prices deflate by more than $1against the wider uptick to average near $22 at North Path-15 but advance byroughly 60 cents to an index atop $21 at South Path-15, as Mid-Columbia Aprilrose by more than 70 cents to an index at about $13 and Palo Verde April dealsclimbed by around 40 cents to average at above $18. Price activity for Maypower similarly spanned the low $20s in California and the low to high $10selsewhere in the region.

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Marketprices and included industry data are current as of the time of publication andare subject to change. For more detailed market data, including power andnatural gasindex prices, as well as forwards and futures, visitour Commodities Pages.