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AM Power Report: US power dailies could shift lower near week's end

Next-day power prices at major markets around the country could be aimed lower in many cases Thursday, Aug. 3, as traders look to softer demand expectations for the end of the week.

Participants will also keep their eyes on natural gas market activity. Ending just 0.8 cent lower in the midweek trading session, NYMEX September natural gas futures were moving higher early Thursday ahead of the opening bell. At 7 a.m. ET, the contract was up 2.2 cents to $2.833/MMBtu on short covering.

The market is awaiting the midmorning release of the latest round of weekly natural gas storage data, which could detail an average injection of 25 Bcf for the week ended July 28. This will compare to the five-year average injection of 44 Bcf and the 3-Bcf withdrawal reported for the corresponding week in 2016.

Day-ahead natural gas markets are likely to follow the lead of the futures market Thursday.

In terms of load, New England demand is likely to crest at 20,570 MW on Thursday and 19,500 MW on Friday. New York demand is expected to reach 23,200 MW on Monday and 21,530 MW on Tuesday.

In the Mid-Atlantic, PJM Western load is likely to top out at 65,950 MW on Thursday and 57,350 MW on Friday. PJM Mid-Atlantic region demand could reach 47,700 MW on Thursday and 46,200 MW on Friday.

In the Midwest, PJM AEP region load is expected to see highs at 19,580 MW on Thursday and 17,650 MW on Friday. Load at the PJM ComEd region near Chicago could peak at 16,400 MW on Thursday and 12,335 MW on Friday.

Texas demand is likely to top out at 59,740 MW on Thursday and 63,900 MW on Friday. The California ISO expects demand to hit a high at 44,880 MW on Thursday and 41,850 MW on Friday.

At the term markets, September power prices were generally softer Aug. 21, in line with the day's weakness in futures, which signaled weaker fueling costs for U.S. power generators.

In the Northeast, New England and New York Zone G September power deals were assessed in the low $30s. At the PJM West hub in the Mid-Atlantic, September delivery power was pegged in the low $30s as well.

At the Midwestern markets, September delivery power at the PJM AD hub, Northern Illinois and MISO Indiana hubs were all inked in the low to mid-$30s.

In Texas at the ERCOT North hub, September power deals were melded in the high $20s, with fourth-quarter parcels seen in the mid-$20s.

On the West Coast, in California at South Path-15, September deals were reported in the upper $30s, with fourth-quarter deals pegged in the mid-$30s.

In the Northwest, Mid-Columbia September parcels ran in the high $20s, with fourth-quarter business at the market assessed in the mid-$20s. In the Southwest at Palo Verde, power for September delivery was seen in the upper $20s.

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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, natural gas and coal index prices, as well as forwards and futures, visit our Commodities Pages.