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AM Power Report: Dailies could meander with load, stumble with gas

Priceaction for next-day powercould be varied with a downside bias Wednesday, Oct. 12, as mixed demand outlooksfor the latter part of the workweek collide with an ongoing weakness at the naturalgas futures complex.

Stumbling3.8 cents on profit taking in the prior session,front-month November natural gas futures were extending lower early Wednesday aheadof the opening bell. At last look, the contract was down 5.0 cents to $3.187/MMBtuahead of the Thursday release of the latest round of storage data from the U.S.Energy Information Administration. The data is anticipated to show an injectionin the high 80-Bcf range for the week ended Oct. 7. The figure will compare to the97-Bcf year-ago addition and a 92-Bcf five-year average natural gas storage injection.

In tandemwith the recent losses in futures, next-day natural gas prices are likely to beaimed to the downside at midweek, which could offer some pressure on power dailies.

On thedemand side, load projections for the latter part of the workweek are jumbled.

In theNortheast, grid operators anticipate an uptick in demand, as load in New Englandis called to reach 15,100 MW on Wednesday and 15,250 MW on Thursday, while loadin New York is projected to see highs at 18,303 MW on Wednesday and 18,450 MW onThursday. Farther south, weaker load is in store, as PJM Western region demand isseen cresting at 47,639 MW on Wednesday and 46,280 MW on Thursday, while PJM Mid-Atlanticload is expected to touch a high near 31,058 MW on Wednesday and 30,815 MW in thelatter part of the business week.

In theMidwest, demand outlooks are also aimed lower, as load in the PJM AEP region isseen peaking at 14,649 MW on Wednesday and 14,293 MW on Thursday, while demand inPJM ComEd is projected to hit highs at 11,851 MW on Wednesday and 10,967 MW on Thursday.

In theSouth, demand in ERCOT could reach highs at 54,428 MW on Wednesday and 51,831 MWin the latter part of the workweek, joining the decline. In the West,load in CAISO is set to rise as it is forecast to top out at 30,840 MW on Wednesdayand 31,354 MW on Thursday.

In termactivity, power values for November predominantly faltered Oct. 11, in line withretreating front-month natural gas futures that implied a reduction in fueling costs.

In theEast, power parcels for November were quoted on either side of $36 in transactionsoff more than $2 at NEPOOL-Mass but up by about 10 cents against the broad downtrendat PJM West. Along the forward curve, power products for delivery in December weremarked in the low $50s in New England and in the low $40s at PJM West.

In theMidwest, prompt-month power deals shed nearly 50 cents to average atop $35 at PJMAD, as similar trades deflated by more than $1 to indexes at roughly $34 at PJMNorthern Illinois and near $38 at MISO Indiana. Power transactions for Decemberacross the three hubs were spread in the mid- to high $30s.

In theSouth, price action for November power recoiled by around 20 cents to average atroughly $32 at ERCOT Houston and eased by about 10 cents to indexes on either sideof $30 at the rest of the ERCOT markets, as regional pricing for December powersimilarly spanned the high $20s to the low $30s.

In theWest, California saw month-ahead power values slump by 10 cents to an index near$37 at North Path-15 and retreat by almost 30 cents to average close to $36 at SouthPath-15, as Mid-Columbia November unraveled about 50 cents and Palo Verde Novembershed roughly 30 cents to both average above $27. Power prices for December werepegged in the low $40s in California and in the low $30s elsewhere in the region.

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Marketprices and included industry data are current as of the time of publication andare subject to change. For more detailed market data, including power andnatural gas indexprices, as well as forwards and futures, visitour Commodities Pages.