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AM Power Report: Dailies could meander with demand expectations

Price action for power dailies could be choppy Wednesday, March 28, in tandem with varied demand prospects for the latter part of the workweek.

In natural gas action, the new front-month May contract is kicking off its first day in the lead position following the prior-day gain of 5.7 cents with losses. Last trades at 7:03 a.m. ET were done at $2.705/MMBtu, down 0.9 cent overnight.

On the demand side, load outlooks for the latter part of the workweek are mixed.

In the Northeast, demand in New England is expected to hit highs at 15,100 MW on Wednesday and 14,770 MW on Thursday, while load in New York could unwind as it is poised to peak at 17,882 MW on Wednesday and 17,569 MW in the latter part of the business week. In the mid-Atlantic, softer load is in store, as PJM Western region demand is forecast to reach highs at 48,439 MW on Wednesday and 47,493 MW on Thursday, while PJM Mid-Atlantic load is projected to crest at 34,010 MW on Wednesday and 31,312 MW on Thursday.

In the Midwest, demand in the PJM AEP region is set to deflate as it is called to reach 15,509 MW on Wednesday and 14,724 MW on Thursday, while load in PJM ComEd is biased higher as it is forecast to top out at 11,048 MW on Wednesday and 11,415 MW on Thursday.

In the South, Texas load should near 41,142 MW on Wednesday and 42,791 MW in the latter part of the workweek, joining the uptrend.

In the West, California demand is forecast to widen to touch a high near 27,974 MW on Wednesday and 28,575 MW on Thursday.

In forward activity, pricing for April power was aimed in diverging directions Tuesday on the back of mixed weather-related demand prospects.

In the East, the power offering for month-ahead delivery shed roughly 40 cents in transactions assessed in the high $30s in New England but tacked on about 20 cents in deals reported in the mid-$30s at PJM West. Looking ahead, May power was discussed in the high $20s in New England and in the low $30s at PJM West.

In the Midwest, April power was almost 10 cents softer day on day in the high $20s at PJM Northern Illinois, but approximately 30 cents higher in the mid- to high $30s at PJM AD and near 70 cents stronger in the low $30s at MISO Indiana. Further along the forward curve, power parcels for May were marked in the low to high $30s overall.

In the South, gains of about 30 cents to as much as 70 cents at the ERCOT markets drove price action for month-ahead power to the high $20s and the low $30s, a range shared with regional pricing for May power delivery.

In the West, California saw April power values fall by between $1 and $2 to the high $20s at North Path-15 and the low $20s at South Path-15, as front-month power prices held near unchanged in the mid- to high $10s at Mid-Columbia but deflated by almost 70 cents to the low $20s at Palo Verde. Further out, price activity for May power was pegged in the low $10s at Mid-Columbia and in the low to high $20s 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.