Declining July 11 demand and weakness in the spotnatural gas markets pulled power prices across most of the country, excludinghubs in the West, to the downside Friday, July 8.
Looking at the natural gas futures arena, the front-monthAugust contract closed the final day of the workweek up 2.4 cents at$2.801/MMBtu. Conversely, most spot natural gas markets traded lower due tosluggish weekend demand.
Westmarkets steady with load prospects and gas gains
Outlooks calling for stronger demand after the weekendalongside higher spot natural gas prices helped power dailies in the West nudgeforward Friday.
Power deals in the West were packaged for July 10-11delivery with the higher load weekday in the product providing values with aboost. Encouraged by potentially higher demand, markets in the Northwest addedless than a dollar, with Mid-Columbia deals heard in the low $20s and COBtransactions done in the mid-$20s. In California, dailies at South Path-15gained more than a dollar and changed hands in the low $30s. Mixed but mutedmoves defined price activity in the Southwest, with Palo Verde up by less thana dollar in the high $20s and low $30s. Mead trades eased on the session in thehigh $20s and low $30s as well.
The California ISO forecasts a Saturday high at 33,191MW, down by more than 2,100 MW from Friday but with load potentially recoveringat the start of the new workweek July 11 as business-related demand typicallypicks up after the weekend.
Eastmarkets retreat as fundamental support wanes
Power values across the eastern side of the countryfell Friday owing to pressures from slack July 11 load outlooks and sizablelosses in spot natural gas markets.
At next-day markets, deals in NEPOOL-Mass tumbled by morethan $10 and were done in the high $20s and low $30s, while trades at New YorkZone G were heard in the low $30s, down from a Thursday index of $56.00. In themid-Atlantic, PJM West dailies ranged in the low to mid-$30s, falling from aThursday index of $49.75.
Owing to soft weekend demand, day-ahead marketsfloundered. Losses close to $50 gripped deals at New York Zone A, whichaveraged $26.21, while a decline of more than $20 was seen at NEPOOL-Mass, NewYork Zone G and New York Zone J with averages of $23.00, $34.24 and $37.49,respectively.
Regional spot natural gas markets ticked lower andfailed to support dailies. Gas at Transco Zone 6 New York stumbled close to$1.30 to an average below $1.65/MMBtu while deals at TETCO-M3 shed close to 15cents and averaged below $1.45/MMBtu.
Grid operators in the Northeast and Midwest anticipatesubdued demand to kick off the new workweek. Load in New England could see aJuly 11 high at 17,750 MW, 3,000 MW lower from Friday, while New York demandcould top out at 24,847 MW, down by almost 4,000 MW from Friday.
The PJM Mid-Atlantic region anticipates peak July 11load to touch 46,647 MW, off by more than 4,100 MW from Friday, while the PJMWestern region projects demand to crest at 64,837 MW on July 11, declining byabout 2,900 MW from Friday.
Midwestdailies slip with falling gas, choppy demand
Power packages traded in the Midwest were priced lowerFriday as dailies reflected expectations calling for varied load for July 11and a downtick in spot natural gas prices.
Losses of about $10 engulfed on-peak deals at PJMAEP-Dayton, which ranged in the low $30s, while trades at MISO Indiana slippedby more than $3 and were done in the mid-$30s.
The Midwest forecast for demand is mixed, with load atthe PJM AEP region possibly hitting 19,833 MW on July 11, up close to 300 MWfrom Friday. The PJM ComEd region is likely to see a demand high at 16,625 MWon July 11, decreasing by more than 1,700 MW from Friday.
ERCOTdailies ease with gas, supported by demand
Trading activity in Texas favored the downside Fridayas losses in spot natural gas markets offset expectations of slightly elevatedJuly 11 load.
Demand in Texas is set to rise as the ERCOT gridoperator anticipates peak load to hit 66,316 MW on July 11, up by more than 300MW from Friday. Day-ahead markets reflected pressures from lower load weekenddays and eased. DAMs at ERCOT North slipped by about a dollar and averaged$27.54 while losses of less than a dollar were seen at ERCOT South and ERCOTWest, which averaged $30.02 and $27.69, respectively. Defying the trend wereDAMs at ERCOT Houston, which added more than a dollar and averaged $34.50.
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.