Day-ahead power prices could step lower Friday, Dec. 15, as traders look to mostly weaker demand forecasts for the start of the new week.
Eyes will also remain on natural gas prices. At the futures market, NYMEX January 2018 natural gas was higher early Friday, tacking on 3.8 cents to $2.722/MMBtu at 7:10 a.m. ET following a loss in the prior session.
However, in step with the prior day's softness in futures and the inclusion of the lower-load weekend days in the trading product, next-day natural gas prices at the major U.S. consuming hubs could shift lower in many cases, offering no upside traction for power values.
In terms of load, New England demand is called to peak at 18,600 MW on Friday and 17,950 MW on Dec. 18. New York load is likely to hit highs at 21,900 MW on Friday and 21,100 MW on Dec. 18.
In the Mid-Atlantic's PJM Western region, load could crest at 59,100 MW on Friday and 55,000 MW on Dec. 18. PJM Mid-Atlantic region demand could top out around 41,850 MW on Friday and 36,200 MW on Dec. 18.
In the Midwest, PJM AEP region load is anticipated to peak at 19,120 MW on Friday and 16,840 MW on Dec. 18. Demand at PJM ComEd near Chicago is likely to hit 13,470 MW on Friday and 12,950 MW on Dec. 18.
Load in Texas is expected to top out near 44,350 MW on Friday and 40,700 MW by Dec. 18. California demand is seen reaching 29,765 MW on Friday and 27,600 MW on Saturday before likely rebounding somewhat by Dec. 18.
At the forward power markets, January 2018 power prices were mostly aimed lower Dec. 14, as the day's decline in futures signaled weaker fueling costs for U.S. power generators.
In the Northeast, January 2018 power deals in New England ran in the high $60s, while parcels for the month at New York's Zone G traded in the mid-$50s. In the Mid-Atlantic, business for January 2018 at PJM West was assessed in the high $30s.
In the Midwest, January 2018 power packages at Northern Illinois were melded in the low $30s, with deals for the month at the PJM AEP-Dayton and MISO Indiana hubs reported in the mid-$30s.
At the ERCOT North hub in Texas, power for January 2018 and first quarter 2018 deals were eyed in the mid-$20s.
In California, January 2018 deals at South Path-15 were inked in the upper $30s, with first-quarter 2018 packages seen in the mid-$30s. January 2018 power parcels at Mid-Columbia and Palo Verde ran in the high $20s. First-quarter 2018 power deals at both hubs were seen in the mid-$20s.
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.