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AM Power Report: Dailies could ease with load, gas in week's opener

Pricing for next-day power could be biased to the downside in the week's opening session Monday, Oct. 9, as generally weaker demand outlooks for Tuesday conspire with ongoing weakness in natural gas futures trading.

At last glance, October natural gas futures were trading at $2.878/MMBtu at 7:15 a.m. ET, up 1.5 cents on the session.

On the demand side, forecasts suggest varied but mostly declining load as the fresh workweek unfolds.

In the Northeast, load in New England is called to reach 17,880 MW on Monday and 17,580 MW on Tuesday, while New York demand is poised to defy the broad decline as it is expected to touch a high near 21,024 MW on Monday and 21,287 MW on Tuesday. In the Mid-Atlantic, load in the PJM Western region is seen cresting at 54,389 MW on Monday and 52,334 MW on Tuesday, while demand in PJM Mid-Atlantic could also buck the wider downtrend as it is projected to peak at 39,192 MW at the return of the business week and 39,246 MW on Tuesday.

In the Midwest, PJM AEP region load is forecast to reach highs at 16,820 MW on Monday and 16,760 MW on Tuesday, while PJM ComEd demand could see highs at 12,821 MW at the start of the new workweek and 11,766 MW on Tuesday.

In the South, Texas demand should near 61,659 MW on Monday and 45,373 MW on Tuesday.

In the West, demand in California is poised to top out at 31,348 MW on Monday and 31,476 MW on Tuesday.

In term trade, power values for November mostly unraveled ahead of the weekend, in tandem with prompt-month natural gas futures that notched losses on the session to ultimately signal a reduction in fueling costs.

In the East, deals for November power delivery shed about 50 cents to average at $35 in New England and deflated by roughly 10 cents to an index atop $32 at PJM West. Further along the forward curve, power transactions for December were assessed in the mid- to high $50s in New England and in the high $30s at PJM West.

In the Midwest, price action for month-ahead power fell by around 90 cents to average near $32 at PJM AD and tumbled by nearly $2 to an index above $29 at PJM Northern Illinois, as front-month pricing at MISO Indiana eased by 10 cents to average at $34. Looking ahead, power prices for December spanned the low to high $30s overall.

In the South, November power prices were off nearly 30 cents day on the day at an average atop $29 at ERCOT Houston, but up between 80 cents and 90 cents against the dominant decline at indexes ranging roughly from $21 to $27 at the rest of the ERCOT hubs. Power for December delivery across the region was likewise marked in the low to high $20s.

In the West, California saw prompt-month power values almost unchanged at an index atop $37 at North Path-15 but down nearly 30 cents at an average at above $34 at South Path-15, while front-month power prices were 20 cents softer day on day at an index at almost $25 at Mid-Columbia and about 50 cents weaker at an average close to $27 at Palo Verde. Further out, price activity for December power was spotted in the mid- to high $30s in California and in the high $20s to the 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.