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AM Power Report: Most power dailies could open week mixed, leaning lower

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AM Power Report: Most power dailies could open week mixed, leaning lower

Next-day power markets could shift in mixed directions in the Monday, Dec. 12, session, as traders look to varied demand projections for the early part of the week and a big slump in natural gas futures.

Tacking on 5.1 cents in the prior session, January natural gas futures were down sharply overnight ahead of the opening bell Monday. At last look, the contract was down a massive 20 cents to trade near $3.546/MMBtu on profit-taking and fresh selling.

In conjunction with any sustained losses for natural gas futures Monday, day-ahead natural gas prices are likely to be poised lower in most cases to start the fresh workweek.

Looking at demand, load in New England is seen peaking at 18,300 MW on Monday and 17,900 MW on Tuesday. Demand in New York is called to reach highs at 21,400 MW on Monday and 20,800 MW on Tuesday. In the Mid-Atlantic, load in the PJM Western region is seen topping 57,650 MW on Monday and 58,560 MW on Tuesday.

In the Midwest, demand in the AEP region is likely to crest at 17,400 MW on Monday and 18,000 MW on Tuesday, while load in the ComEd region near Chicago is likely to peak at 13,900 MW on Monday and 14,400 MW on Tuesday.

In Texas, demand is seen reaching highs at 40,850 MW on Monday and 40,200 MW on Tuesday, according to the ERCOT grid operator. In California, load is expected to peak at 30,400 MW on Monday and 30,600 MW on Tuesday.

In term activity, power prices for January 2017 were mostly steady to higher ahead of the weekend, as advancing front-month natural gas futures signaled an uptick in fueling costs.

In the East, gains on either side of $3 steered transactions for January 2017 power to indexes atop $90 at NEPOOL-Mass and at above $59 at PJM West, as power deals for February 2017 ran through the high $80s in New England and the high $50s at PJM West.

In the Midwest, prompt-month power values rose by nearly 80 cents to average at over $51 at PJM AD but fell by about $3 against the dominant uptrend to indexes at roughly $48 at PJM Northern Illinois and atop $49 at MISO Indiana. Along the forward curve, power prices for February 2017 were spotted in the low to high $40s.

In the South, power parcels for January 2017 delivery were quoted roughly between $34 and $35 in deals off about 10 cents against the wider uptick at ERCOT Houston but flat day on day at the rest of the ERCOT markets. Power for February 2017 across the region was transacted in the low $30s overall.

In the West, California saw front-month power prices advance by about 50 cents to an index at almost $42 at North Path-15 and climb by roughly $1 to an index near $40 at South Path-15, as month-ahead values added over $2 to average close to $32 at Mid-Columbia and tacked on about $1 to average near $33 at Palo Verde. Price activity for February 2017 power was pegged in the high $30s in California and in the high $20s to low $30s elsewhere in the region.

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