Power prices across the U.S. were mixed but held anupward bias Wednesday, Oct. 5, as most markets were boosted by strong Thursdaydemand forecasts and increasing spot natural gas prices.
Over in the gas futures arena, the front-month Novembercontract managed to break the psychologically important $3.00/MMBtu resistanceand closed the midweek session at $3.041/MMBtu, rising 7.7 cents.
Moving in line with the increase in futures, spotnatural gas markets across the country traded products for a modest premium.
Eastdailies notch gains with fundamental support
Mostly elevated demand forecasts and gains in spotnatural gas prices pushed power markets in the East higher Wednesday.
At next-day markets, NEPOOL-Mass added almost $2 fromTuesday and saw power exchanged in the mid- to high $20s while New York Zone Atraded dailies in the low to mid-$30s for a premium close to $3. PJM West powerwas transacted a dollar higher from Oct. 4 with deals pegged in the mid- tohigh $30s.
Day-ahead markets in the Northeast ticked higher aswell. DAMs at NEPOOL-Mass added about $3 and averaged $26.84 while DAMs at NewYork Zone A gained almost $7 from Tuesday and averaged $35.56. DAMs at New YorkZone G and New York Zone J increased by about a dollar and averaged $22.79 and$22.97, respectively.
Load in the Northeast is mixed with demand in NewEngland possibly topping out at 14,730 MW on Thursday, down 240 MW fromWednesday while peak Thursday load in New York may crest at 18,695 MW, up byabout 200 MW from the previous day.
On the other hand, demand forecasts in themid-Atlantic are aimed higher with peak load in the PJM Mid-Atlantic regionpotentially reaching 31,384 MW on Thursday, up by more than 250 MW from themidweek. The PJM Western region is expected to see peak demand near 52,997 MWon Thursday, jumping by more than 1,500 MW from Wednesday.
Midwestmarkets lean mixed to higher, MISO Indiana jumps
Trading activity in the Midwest was mixed toultimately higher Wednesday, owing to support from strong load forecasts andmodest gains in spot natural gas prices.
Power at PJM AEP-Dayton was traded in the mid- to high$30s, up by about a dollar, while deals at PJM Northern Illinois dropped closeto $2 in the high $30s to low $40s. Posting the biggest gains of the sessionwere transactions at MISO Indiana, which jumped by more than $5 and ranged inthe mid-$40s.
Load in the Midwest is set to rise during the latterpart of the workweek, with the PJM AEP region calling for a Thursday high at15,530 MW, roughly 100 MW higher from Wednesday while demand in the PJM ComEdregion should run up to 14,398 MW on Thursday, rising by more than 1,000 MWfrom the day prior.
Gasgains offset slack demand to keep Texas dailies firm
Increasing spot natural gas prices counterbalanceddownward pressures from deflated Thursday demand forecasts and helped keeppower values in Texas steady Wednesday. ERCOT North next-day powerdeals traded in the mid-$30s, for a daily gain of more than $1.
DAMs in Texas added $3 to $5 and averaged $41.46 atERCOT Houston, $37.16 at ERCOT North, $43.90 at ERCOT South and $37.31 at ERCOTWest.
The ERCOT grid operator is expecting Thursday demandto hit a high at 57,905 MW, down by more than 1,200 MW from Wednesday.
Westmarkets jumbled despite robust demand, rising gas prices
Power packages in the West moved in differentdirections Wednesday, as some markets ignored prospects of robust Thursdaydemand forecasts and support from a modest uptick in spot natural gas prices.
In the Northwest, mixed but mostly muted movesdominated trading activity. Mid-Columbia deals eased and were heard in themid-$20s, while COB trades added less than a dollar in the high $20s.
In California, heavy-load transactions at SouthPath-15 spanned the low to mid-$30s, up by $1, while North Path-15 deals wereflat to the day prior and were quoted in the mid-$30s.
In the Southwest, Palo Verde saw power exchanged inthe low $20s, shedding less $1.
Load in California could peak at 31,524 MW onThursday, up by more than 1,600 MW from Wednesday.
Market prices and included industry data are currentas of the time of publication and are subject to change. For more detailedmarket data, including power, naturalgas and coal indexprices, as well as forwards and futures,visit our Commodities Pages.