The price of power could favor the downside in the week's opening session Monday, Oct. 16, as predominantly softer demand prospects for Tuesday combine with renewed losses in natural gas markets.
Ending 1.1 cent higher in the Oct. 13 session, NYMEX November natural gas futures were easing early Monday ahead of the opening bell. At last look at 6:35 a.m. ET, the front-month contract was down 3.8 cents to trade near $2.962/MMBtu on profit taking.
Day-ahead natural gas markets at the major U.S. consuming hubs could see mixed to lower moves Monday, amid any sustained losses in the futures arena.
On the demand side, most grid operators see declining load as the fresh workweek unfolds.
In the Northeast, load in New England is poised to peak at 15,000 MW on Monday and 14,700 MW on Tuesday, while demand in New York is expected to hit highs at 18,566 MW on Monday and 18,152 MW on Tuesday. To the south, PJM Western region load is seen reaching highs at 46,661 MW on Monday and 46,572 MW on Tuesday, while PJM Mid-Atlantic demand is called to reach 32,070 MW on Monday and 31,133 MW on Tuesday.
In the Midwest, demand outlooks defy the broad downtrend, as load in the PJM AEP region is projected to touch a high near 14,318 MW at the return of the business week and 14,591 MW on Tuesday, while load in PJM ComEd is forecast to crest at 11,053 MW on Monday and 11,126 MW on Tuesday.
In the South, Texas load should near 42,472 MW on Monday and 41,527 MW on Tuesday. In the West, California demand is projected to top out at 33,750 MW on Monday and 33,900 MW on Tuesday.
In forward trade, price activity for November power was choppy ahead of the weekend, with the upside driven by advancing front-month natural gas futures that signaled rising fueling costs.
In the East, November power deals were almost unchanged day on day at an index atop $35 in New England but off around 10 cents at an average above $33 at PJM West. Farther along the forward curve, power transactions for December were assessed in the high $50s in New England and in the high $30s at PJM West.
In the Midwest, month-ahead power shed about 10 cents in trades carried out at close to $34 at PJM AD, as a similar offering gave back between 30 cents and 40 cents in transactions done at near $31 at PJM Northern Illinois and $35 at MISO Indiana. December power was quoted in the low to high $30s overall.
In the South, pricing for November power at the ERCOT markets climbed by about 10 cents to more than $1 to indexes ranging from $22 to almost $30. Regional price action for December power delivery spanned the low $20s to the low $30s.
In the West, prompt-month power values in California deflated by nearly 50 cents to average at almost $39 at North Path-15 but rose by around 20 cents to an index at approximately $37 at South Path-15, while front-month power prices at Mid-Columbia and Palo Verde were bolstered by about 10 cents to indexes close to $26 and roughly $28, respectively. Pricing for December power was pegged in the high $30s in California and in the high $20s to the low $30s 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.