Next-daypower values in the U.S. took another step back Thursday, April 14, with thedownside driven by mostly softer Friday demand forecasts and drooping spotnatural gas prices.
At the natural gas futures complex, after ahead of the April 14open, the front-month May contract closed the session down 6.6 cents at$1.970/MMBtu. Providing pressure on the May gas was storage data from the U.S.Energy Information Administration, which showed a from natural gasinventories in the Lower 48 during the week ended April 8. Following losses infutures, spot gas markets ticked lower with trades at Algonquin Citygates seeinga sizable decline.
In other supply, total U.S. movedslightly lower early April 14 to 85.01%, down from 85.30% on April 13, butstill much higher than the 82.00% level recorded on the same day last year.
In near-term weather, a forecast from AccuWeather.comsays that a "slow-moving storm will supply enough cold air foraccumulating snow to fall across the eastern Rockies and High Plains, includingDenver, this weekend."
Eastdailies retreat with slack fundamentals
Next-day power markets in the eastern U.S. favored thedownside Thursday, as dailies crumbled to forecasts of weak Friday demand andlosses in spot natural gas prices.
At NEPOOL-Mass, next-day deals were done in the high$20s and low $30s, falling from a midweek index of $35.50, while trades at PJMWest were pegged in the high $20s and low $30s as well for a daily loss closeto $2.
Day-ahead markets in the Northeast were mixed butleaned mostly lower, with DAM deals at NEPOOL-Mass shedding roughly $3 toaverage $27.75, while DAM trades New York Zone G slipped by about a dollar toan average of $29.86. DAM transactions at New York Zone J lost less than adollar and averaged $30.48 while DAM deals at New York Zone A defied the trendand added around $2 to average $36.60.
Spot gas markets faltered, with gas deals at AlgonquinCitygates falling by about $1.10 to an average around $2.90/MMBtu, while tradesat TETCO-M3 and Transco Zone 6 New York tumbled by more than 10 cents from the midweekto averages around $1.40/MMBtu and below $1.50/MMBtu, respectively.
Load forecasts in the Northeast and the Mid-Atlanticare aimed lower, with peak Friday demand in New England called to reach 13,950MW, down 550 MW from Thursday, while load in New York may top out at 17,354 MWon Friday, dropping more than 800 MW from the previous day.
Peak demand in the PJM Mid-Atlantic region may touch30,415 MW on Friday, falling more than 1,300 MW from Thursday, while load inthe PJM Western region should peak at 46,554 MW on Friday, plunging by morethan 2,300 MW from the day before.
MostWest dailies ease in revised trade
Price activity in the West was biased lower Thursdayas dailies mirrored projections of slack demand due to next-day schedulerevisions and slumping spot natural gas prices.
Next-day deals in the West were done for the combineddelivery days of April 15-16, with the inclusion of the typically lower loadweekend day in the product offering downward pressure on values.
In the Northwest, power at Mid-Columbia was traded inthe low teens, slipping close to a dollar from Wednesday, while deals at COBsaw little change from the midweek and were done in the mid-teens. Powertransactions in California also eased, with South Path-15 shedding less than adollar in the mid-teens. Southwestern markets also posted losses of less than adollar with power at Palo Verde changing hands in the high teens.
CAISO expects peak Friday demand to run up to 26,841MW, dropping more than 900 MW from Thursday, with load expected to fall evenharder over the weekend.
Spot gas markets embraced losses, as gas deals atMalin, PG&E Citygates and SoCal Border dropped roughly 4 cents fromWednesday to post averages below $1.75/MMBtu, less than $1.95/MMBtu, and lowerthan $1.80/MMBtu, respectively.
Cheapgas offsets rising demand and sends Texas dailies lower
Power parcels in Texas favored the downside Thursday,as prospects of stronger Friday load were undermined by pressures from mostlylower spot natural gas prices.
Demand in ERCOT is set to rise despite the incomingweekend, with peak load forecasted to hit 41,352 MW on Friday, amassing around2,600 MW from Thursday.
Day-ahead markets defied robust demand, with ERCOTHouston, ERCOT North and ERCOT South posting daily losses of $1 to $2 to slipto averages of $17.31, $17.49 and $16.88, respectively, while ERCOT Weststumbled by more than $5 to an average of $12.52.
Working to send power packages lower was a downtick inspot gas markets. Gas deals at El Paso Permian and the Henry Hub shed 4 centsto 5 cents from Wednesday to average below $1.75/MMBtu and below $1.95/MMBtu,respectively.
Midwestmarkets pressured by sagging demand and retreating gas
Power packages in the Midwest saw an absence offundamental support Thursday due to outlooks suggesting sluggish Friday loadand a downtick in spot natural gas prices.
PJM regions in the Midwest anticipate diminisheddemand, with the PJM AEP region possibly seeing a high at 15,379 MW on Friday,tumbling by 1,100 MW from Thursday, while the PJM ComEd region estimates loadto crest at 10,977 MW on Friday, shedding little more than 100 MW from the dayprior.
Spot gas markets lost some ground, with gas deals atChicago Citygates and NNG Demarc posting a daily loss of 5 cents to 7 centsfrom the midweek session to fall to averages around $1.85/MMBtu, and about$1.75/MMBtu, respectively.
Market prices and included industry data are currentas of the time of publication and are subject to change. For more detailedmarket data, including power,natural gas andcoal index prices, as well asforwards andfutures, visit our Commodities Pages.