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Slack demand forecasts leave US power markets biased lower


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Slack demand forecasts leave US power markets biased lower

Daily power prices in the U.S. kicked off the first session of the workweek Monday, March 26, on lower ground following outlooks for deflated Tuesday demand.

At the natural gas futures arena, the front-month April contract closed the day up 2.7 cents at $2.618/MMBtu.

In other supply, total U.S. nuclear power plant availability had slipped to 86.25% by early March 26 following the loss of three units since March 23.

East markets slip with load forecasts; New York Zone G deals firm

Declining demand forecasts provided no support to most next-day markets in the East on Monday.

At next-day markets, power prices at the New England Mass hub slipped more than $5 and ranged in the low $30s, while PJM West packages eased less than $1 with power deals spanning the low $30s. New York Zone G packages added more than $2 on the session and were valued in the high $20s.

Mixed to predominantly lower moves were noted at northeastern day-ahead markets. DAMs at the Mass hub fell roughly $3 with power deals averaging $28.84, while losses of less than $1 were noted at New York Zone A and Zone G, where power prices averaged $22.60 and $26.66, respectively. Conversely, DAMs at New York Zone J added close to $5 from on the session with prices averaging $37.18.

Demand in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic is off to a slow start. Load in New England could top out at 15,700 MW on Monday and 15,250 MW on Tuesday, while demand in New York should crest at 18,114 MW on Monday and 17,959 MW on Tuesday. The PJM Mid-Atlantic region is expected to see load run up to 36,648 MW on Monday and 35,995 MW on Tuesday, while the PJM Western region might see peaks of 53,654 MW on Monday and 50,083 MW on Tuesday.

Southwest markets notch gains; Northwest, Calif. dailies ease

Prices in the West, excluding those in the Southwest, ticked lower Monday despite firm Tuesday load forecasts.

Demand in California is expected to peak at 27,376 MW on Monday and 27,392 MW on Tuesday. However, power deals at South Path-15 eased slightly in the mid-$20s. In the Northwest, packages at Mid-Columbia shed close to $2 with trades noted in the low to mid-teens.

Gains were noted in the Southwest. Palo Verde and Mead packages rose $4 to $8 on the session and were pegged in the low to mid-$20s at the former and the mid-$20s at the latter.

Texas values retreat with sagging load outlooks

Subdued Tuesday demand forecasts sent daily power prices in Texas tumbling Monday.

Load in Texas is projected to reach highs of 47,691 MW on Monday and 44,218 MW on Tuesday. Bogged down by demand, next-day deals at ERCOT North fell about $4 on the session and changed hands in the low $30s.

Most day-ahead markets also ticked lower. DAMs at ERCOT North and ERCOT West shed close to $3 on the session and averaged $32.06 and $31.82, respectively, while DAMs at ERCOT South eased slightly and averaged $31.22. DAMs at ERCOT Houston were steady to March 23 and averaged $35.92.

Power at Into Southern changed hands in the mid-$20s, down from a March 23 index of $26.25.

Midwest DAMs open workweek without demand support

Markets in the Midwest spent the week's opening session finding no support from slack Tuesday load forecasts.

Looking at load, the PJM AEP region should see peaks of 17,260 MW on Monday and 15,906 MW on Tuesday, while load in the PJM ComEd region could hit highs of 11,766 MW on Monday and 11,282 MW on Tuesday.

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.